Back to All Commentary

Letter: On Abortion Protesters (New York Times)

To the editor:

Re “Protesting the Protesters” (Dec. 14), about a City Council bill intended to protect patients and staff from harassment by anti-abortion activists who gather outside clinics where abortions are performed:

The article quoted the president and founder of the group Expectant Mother Care as stating that the bill sets a “new low standard for the protection of First Amendment rights.”

In fact, the bill achieves the appropriate balance between respecting the constitutional rights of protesters to express their views and protecting the fundamental right of women to have access to reproductive health care.

The bill would prevent protesters from physically assaulting women, blocking access to clinics, damaging clinic facilities, and following and harassing women within a 15-foot zone — activities the First Amendment does not protect. If groups like Expectant Mother Care stick to peaceful protest, they don’t have to fear arrest or prosecution.

Ami Sanghvi

Sanghavi is a staff attorney for the Reproductive Rights Project of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
© 2024 New York
Civil Liberties Union