By: David Rice Re: In The News RICHMOND, Va. (ITN) A federal appeals court upheld the law
By: David Rice
Re: In The News
RICHMOND, Va. (ITN) * A federal appeals court upheld the law
against blocking access to abortion clinics on Monday, rejecting
arguments that the law infringes on free-speech rights.
The three-judge panel's unanimous ruling in two cases, brought
by an anti-abortion group and a protester, is the first
appellate decision on the act President Clinton signed into law
on May 26, 1994.
One challenge was filed by Joyce Woodall, an abortion protester
who was arrested after "kneeling in prayer" at the door of a
Falls Church clinic.
The second was filed by the American Life League, a Stafford
anti-abortion group. The league's lawyer argued that protesters
can say anything they want as long as they don't threaten or
assault people or block entrances.
Judge M. Blane Michael, writing for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals, said the law protects people seeking or providing
abortions without infringing on anyone's First Amendment rights.
The act "strikes a balance among competing rights holders" while
"those opposed to abortion or to any other reproductive health
service retain the freedom to express their deeply-held moral or
religious views in a peaceful, non-obstructive way," Michael
Ms. Woodall's lawyer, Wendell R. Bird, said he will ask the U.S.
Supreme Court for a review.
"A protester can block a nuclear power facility entrance and
that's not a federal crime. A protester can block the cutting of
old trees in a forest and that's not a federal crime," he said.
"But if a protester does the exact same action in front of an
abortion clinic, they are on different grounds where the rules
change and it is a crime."
But in its ruling, the appeals court said the protesters' agenda
"The Act forbids the obstructive conduct not because of the
content of any message that conduct might convey, but because of
its harmful effects," Michael wrote.
The 4th Circuit delayed consideration of one issue in the case
of Ms. Woodall, who argued that the act is unconstitutional
because it authorizes prior restraints on speech.
The 4th Circuit said the issue was raised prematurely. Violators
of the law face prison terms of six months to life and fines of
up to $250,000.
Unbelievable! The above idiot compares assaulting women &
girls, and denying women, girls, & men access to medical
services, to "protesting" nukes and logging! Increadable!
* DaveRice@EdenBBS.Com * "God is worse: ever seen "Act of Satan" in an
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank