In a recent story on NPR about the Obama administration’s ramped-up enforcement of the FACE Act, Operation Rescue President Troy Newman says the enforcement is really just a “political tool” to shut down abortion protesters.
Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group that aims to shut down women’s health clinics that provide abortions, has been at the center of anti-abortion activism for quite some time.
The Obama Justice Department has been taking a more aggressive approach against people who block access to abortion clinics, using a 1994 law to bring cases in greater numbers than its predecessor.
The numbers are most stark when it comes to civil lawsuits, which seek to create buffer zones around clinic entrances for people who have blocked access in the past. Under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, or FACE Act, the Justice Department’s civil rights division has filed eight civil cases since the start of the Obama administration. That’s a big increase over the George W. Bush years, when one case was filed in eight years.
Among the several lawsuits the Obama Justice Department has filed so far, is one against West Palm Beach’s Mary Susan Pine.
According to The Palm Beach Post, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sought an injunction against Pine last year that prevents her from entering any driveway leading to a clinic in West Palm Beach that she once blocked a car from parking in front of. She was charged with violating the FACE Act.
Reproductive rights advocates and clinic employees tell NPR that there has been a “relatively low level of extreme violence” because of the Justice Department’s dedication to enforcing the FACE Act.
However, Troy Newman disagrees. He told NPR that the Justice Department’s approach to the FACE Act is “a political tool to shut them up, shut them down and make them go away”:
“This is a ridiculous overstepping of the federal government’s bounds and with the intent of restricting our freedom, our liberties and our speech,” says Newman, who says he was sued under the same law by the Justice Department when Bill Clinton was president.
Newman previously told The Florida Independent that he has “yet to find an abortion mill that doesn’t violate the law” and will continue to work hard to “expose the abuses of the abortion cartel.”
Late this past June, Newman announced that Operation Rescue will be conducting a “massive research project to identify every abortionist in the country.” Newman says he needs fellow anti-abortion advocates to contribute any information they can about abortion providers where they live.