You are reading

Anti-Abortion Protesters Targeting Women’s Clinic in Queens Win Court Battle

Anti-abortion protesters allegedly harassing a patient and her child entering Choices Women’s Medical Center (NY State Attorney General’s Office)

Aug. 30, 2021 By Allie Griffin

Anti-abortion protesters scored a small victory Thursday when a federal appeals court refused to enter a preliminary injunction filed against them that aimed to prevent them from protesting outside a Jamaica health clinic.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a prior district court decision that blocked a preliminary injunction against the protesters. However, the victory is only short term.

The decision stems from a case filed in 2017 by former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against 13 anti-abortion protesters who allegedly harassed women who were entering Choices Women’s Medical Center — a reproductive health clinic that offers abortions among other services in Jamaica.

Schneiderman, who stepped down from office in 2018 following a sexual abuse scandal, filed a lawsuit alleging that the protesters also threatened staff members. The suit also argued that they physically surrounded patients and blocked them from entering the clinic.

The lawsuit argues that the protesters violated several state, federal and local laws including the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, the New York State Clinic Access Act and the New York City Access to Reproductive Health Care Facilities Act — all of which prohibit obstructing access to reproductive health clinics.

Schneiderman also sought a preliminary injunction against the protesters, with the aim of stopping their activities outside the facility while the case was being heard.

A judge in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, rejected the motion for an injunction against the protests in 2018 and the state appealed the decision. A Second Circuit panel with the Court of Appeals then heard the case and sided with the state but that ruling was vacated on Thursday.

The federal appeals court didn’t look at the merits of each party’s arguments. The appeals court rather made the decision based solely on its belief that the district court didn’t abuse its discretion in denying the injunction, according to court documents.

The case will now return to the Eastern District for a trial based on the merits of each party’s arguments. Schneiderman’s successors, first Barbara Underwood, and then Letitia James have continued to pursue the case.

An attorney for the protesters denied all the claims of harassment and said the case has no merit because the protesters were peacefully executing their first amendment rights.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Southeast Queens man indicted for stealing more than $1.1M in pandemic loan fraud scheme: Feds

A Springfield Gardens man was arrested by federal agents on Thursday morning for allegedly stealing more than $1.1 million in a COVID-19 loan fraud scheme.

Terry Dor, 36, of 145th Road, was arraigned hours later in Brooklyn federal court on an eight-count indictment charging him with wire fraud, theft of public funds and money laundering in connection with a scheme to steal funds from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program that provided emergency funding to distressed businesses during the pandemic.

NYPD honors school crossing guard who was killed at dangerous Queens intersection in October

Fallen school crossing guard Krystyna Naprawa was posthumously promoted by the NYPD to the rank of community coordinator during a ceremony at One Police Plaza on Thursday attended by her family, friends and dozens of colleagues.

The 14-year veteran was killed while on duty on the morning of Oct. 20 after safely guiding children across a busy intersection on Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue in Woodhaven. Moments later, Naprawa was struck by a turning dump truck that proceeded to run her over. EMS pronounced her dead at the scene.

Miss G, the culinary matriarch, celebrates over 30 years of serving the best Jamaican cuisine in Queens

Feb. 22, 2024 By Tracey Khan

In the heart of Queens, there is a culinary gem that has woven itself into the very fabric of the community – G’s Restaurant & Bakery located at 135-36 Rockaway Blv’d., South Ozone. For more than three decades, G’s Restaurant has been serving up some of the most authentic and mouthwatering Jamaican cuisine and stands as a testament to the enduring power of a dream and the legacy of one woman’s culinary prowess.

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: felony assaults across the borough on the rise, burglaries down slightly in northern Queens

Feb. 21, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of felony assaults across Queens increased during the 28-day period from Jan. 22 through Feb. 18, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Tuesday. At the same time, the number of reported burglaries experienced a slight but noticeable drop in northern Queens.

Police officer injured during traffic stop in South Ozone Park after driver speeds off: NYPD

Police from the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park are actively searching for the driver of a sports car responsible for injuring an officer during a traffic stop on Sunday evening.

The driver of a black Corvette was traveling westbound on Rockaway Boulevard when officers pulled him for speeding just after 9 p.m. near the intersection of Centerville Street and 109th Avenue in South Ozone Park. As one of the officers approached the vehicle, the driver stepped on the accelerator running over the cop’s foot as the Corvette sped away from the scene, police said.