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June 20, 2017

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed suit today against a group of activists who have obstructed access to a clinic in Jamaica, New York that provides abortion care and other medical services. The complaint details the ways in which activists have blocked access, including standing in the way of the doors of arriving cars, pinning visitors to walls and grabbing patients as they attempted to enter the facility.

The NYCLU has received reports, surveyed clinics, collected data and done legal observing in recent years that substantiates accounts of this type of activity. The Attorney General’s suit seeks to prohibit the defendants from obstructing entry to the facility by patients and staff.

The following statement is attributable to NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

“Everyone has the right to speak their mind, but no one has the right to block New Yorkers from accessing the constitutionally protected health care they need. The Attorney General is right to recognize that the obstruction and abuse taking place outside of the Women’s Medical Center in Jamaica is a serious violation of the rights of the clinic’s patients and staff, and has no place in an open New York. The NYCLU will continue to defend anti-abortion activists’ right to speak out peacefully even as we welcome efforts to ensure open access to abortion care in New York.”    

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