Pro-lifers have been making headlines for harassing women who go to pro-choice clinics for quite some time.
These women have received death threats while trying to reach the medical clinics. “Don't go in there, they will convince you to kill your baby — that's how they make money,” and “You don’t know when you might get shot,” are some of the dreadful things these anti-abortion groups never fail to mention.
According to as The New York Times , there are over 3,500 crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in the country — most of them “run by conservative Christians”— that pressure pregnant women to either give birth or consider using an adoption agency.
However, these pathetic instances of harassment might change for the patients and staff of one women’s health facility in Queens. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a federal lawsuit against a group of anti-abortion protesters who have been allegedly harassing women outside the Choices Women’s Medical Center in the Queens borough of New York City for the past five years.
The pro-life activists allegedly use the First Amendment protections to pester women and the medical staff entering the clinic.
“The tactics used to harass and menace Choices’ patients, families, volunteers and staff are not only horrifying — they’re illegal,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “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.”
Schneiderman’s lawsuit comes after a yearlong investigation and its goal is not just limited to prohibiting the protesters from harassing patients, staff and volunteers entering the facility, but also to create a 16-foot “buffer zone” around the center to protect women from the “extremely aggressive behavior” of the protesters.
The attorney general recalled the time when he worked at an abortion clinic, pre-Roe v. Wade, after graduating high school and what women felt.
The summer after I graduated high school, I worked in an abortion clinic. It was pre-Roe. I still remember the fear many women had.— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) June 20, 2017
Founder, president and CEO of Choices Women's Medical Center Merle Hoffman commended Schneiderman's move in statement, where she also mentioned the ordeals she faced while fighting for women’s rights.
“I have been on the front lines of this struggle for women's rights and women's freedom for nearly fifty years. I have endured bomb threats, death threats, multiple evictions, and the maiming and murder of colleagues and friends. And I am still here, because I made a vow to my first patient and to myself — that I would always be there for women and girls who came to me for services. I stand with A.G. Schneiderman and his staff — and with all abortion providers and patients — to say that this injustice must stop.”
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters