No one should ever have to choose between their safety and their health care.
A person’s right to access medical care shouldn’t be accompanied by feelings of threat or intimidation and local law enforcement should have the ability to assist in making sure clinics are safe and secure spaces. The Minnesota Face Act, or Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrance Act, outlines activities that would be prohibited under Minnesota Law ensuring safe access to health care.
What the Bill does:
- The bill makes it a gross misdemeanor in the state of Minnesota for a person to intentionally obstruct, injure, intimidate, or interfere with a reproductive health services client, provider, or staff while they are entering or exiting a reproductive health clinic.
- It makes damage to property, because it is a reproductive health service, a gross misdemeanor.
- It also makes any person who telephones or knowingly permits their phone to be used to disrupt the normal functions of a reproductive health service facility to be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
- Finally, it makes any person who intentionally impedes or interferes with the operation of a motor vehicle attempting to enter or exit or park guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
Does this interfere with someone’s first amendment rights?
- No, this bill expressly prohibits any impairment of constitutionally protected activities, including free speech and the right to assemble.
Why do we need this bill? Isn’t there a Federal FACE Act?:
- President Clinton signed the federal FACE Act into law in 1994 in response to the increase in violence around reproductive health clinics. Given the amplified insecurity of the current administration, states are in a unique position to make sure that laws that may get repealed or not enforced on a federal level will still be enforced at the state level. It is more important ever to a person’s ability to make their own health care decisions and to make sure they feel safe and secure when they do.