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ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE ACLU Decries Florida Clinic Shooting: Statement of Estelle H. Rogers, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project For IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 29, 1994 The ACLU is appalled by today's murders and serious wounding outside The Ladies' Center, a reproductive health facility in Pensacola, Florida. These crimes mirror the horror of Dr. David Gunn's murder at Pensacola Medical Services in March, 1993. Since 1992, when the U.S. Supreme Court disappointed anti-choice organizations by upholding Roe v. Wade and the legality of abortion, these groups have unleashed an ever-escalating onslaught of violence against abortion providers and their patients. While the Constitution affords anti-abortion activists the right to express their views even to unreceptive audiences, it does not give them license to commit acts of violence to underscore their views. The American Civil Liberties Union -- which has defended the rights of both women seeking abortion and anti-abortion protesters -- deplores the criminal acts committed today in Florida, as well as the other violent attacks upon reproductive health facilities throughout the nation. The ACLU fought for enactment of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, the new federal law that prohibits violence and obstruction aimed at interfering with those who obtain or provide reproductive health services. We are now defending this statute in court against challenges to block its enforcement. We hope that, in the future, vigorous enforcement of the act will spell the end of the tide of violence that has engulfed abortion providers and their patients during the past two years. We urge federal, state and local authorities to prosecute those responsible for this horrible tragedy under every applicable criminal statute, including the clinic access act. For we must remember that the men who died in Pensacola today and the woman who was injured are casualties of an ideological war as surely as if they were felled in Sarajevo. ============================================================= ACLU Free Reading Room | A publications and information resource of the gopher:// | American Civil Liberties Union National Office | | "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty"


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