via Jezebel — Violence at abortion clinics has been down since George Tiller was murdered in 2009, and part of the reason may be that the Obama administration is doing more to prosecute anti-choice protesters who break the law. Some say the FBI could haveprevented Tiller’s death if Scott Roeder had been investigated more thoroughly, but under the Bush administration, the federal goverment generally didn’t do much to stop harassment outside clinics. During Bush’s tenure, the Jutice Department only filed one case against a protester who violated the Freedom of Accesss to Clinic Entrances Act or FACE Act. Since Obama has been in office, the Department’s civil rights division has already filed eight cases.
The FACE Act was signed into law in 1994, and makes it illegal for protesters to block access to abortion clinics or threaten patients with violence. The civil suits filed by the Justice Department aim to create buffer zones around clinics for protesters who have been known to violate the law. NPR reports that in the past two years, representatives from the Justice Department and the FBI have been meeting with abortion-rights groups and medical providers to explain what they do and their efforts to prevent violence against doctors and patients.
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