Left: AJ Hurley, his wife, and Life Legal Attorney Allison Aranda.
Right: Carafem’s chemical abortion ad
Published October 31, 2023
We’ve seen a drastic rise in the number of FACE lawsuits and prosecutions over the past year.Dozens of abortion mills have been shuttered since the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. So far, 15 states have passed laws prohibiting abortionists from murdering children in the womb. As pro-life advocates focus their life-saving efforts at the abortion clinics that remain open, abortionists are more desperate than ever to silence them. Consequently, the federal FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act and its state counterparts are being used to intimidate, bully, and persecute peaceful sidewalk counselors. We’ve seen a drastic rise in the number of FACE lawsuits and prosecutions over the past year.
The FACE Act, enacted in 1994, prohibits using force, threat of force, or physical obstruction to injure, intimidate, or interfere with access to “reproductive health services.” When the FACE Act was passed, lawmakers testified that “The Act is carefully drafted so as not to prohibit expressive activities that are constitutionally protected, such as peacefully carrying picket signs, making speeches, handing out literature, or praying in front of a clinic.”
The law that expressly provides protection for First Amendment speech and activities is now being wielded as a bludgeon against pro-lifers.
The FACE Act is not limited to governmental prosecutions. In Tennessee, the abortion clinic itself filed a lawsuit against peaceful pro-life advocates, claiming they violated the FACE Act.