AG Schneiderman accused the protesters of harassing women and employees.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a lawsuit against people who have protested outside of Choices Women’s Medical Clinic in Queens for the past five years.
Schneiderman has accused the defendants of “targeting patients and employees every Saturday morning, telling them ‘You don’t know when you might get shot’ and even calling them murderers.”
From The New York Daily News:
The menacing protesters are not above using their bodies to block the passenger-side doors to impede patients arriving by car, or clashing with volunteer escorts trying to shield patients from unwanted abuse.
“The tactics used to harass and menace Choices’ patients, families, volunteers, and staff are not only horrifying, they’re illegal,” Schneiderman said.
“The law guarantees women the right to control their own bodies and access the reproductive health care they need, without obstruction. We’ll do what it takes to protect those rights for women across New York.”
The lawsuit claims that the “protesters have violated the federal Freedom to Clinic Entrances Act and the New York State Clinic Access Act by chasing and crowding patients as they approach the building.”
The Thomas More Society is representing the defendants and released this statement via email:
“Members of the Church at the Rock peacefully counsel women who are considering having an abortion. They conduct themselves reasonably and compassionately, and offer information about abortion alternatives to those willing to listen. This is the exercise of their core First Amendment rights, and is an activity that takes place on the public sidewalk, the traditional venue for expression concerning important ideas and societal issues.
“The New York Attorney General’s suit seeks to deny our clients their fundamental First Amendment rights and is without factual or legal basis. We will vigorously defend our clients’ right to continue to peacefully deliver a pro-life message to abortion-minded women on the public sidewalk, and will seek dismissal of the State of New York’s meritless attempt to deny our clients the rights guaranteed them by our Constitution. ”
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