Victory: WLP Statement on Ruling that Protects Abortion Providers

Yesterday, the 9th Circuit affirmed the protection of abortion providers from fraudulent and dangerous invasions of privacy. The Women’s Law Project is proud to have supported the National Abortion Federation (NAF) by filing a brief explaining the history of anti-abortion violence to the court. The ruling will help abortion providers around the country feel more at ease in providing caring and safe medical care to women.

A key factor in the ruling is that the court found that Daleiden’s secretly recorded tapes of Planned Parenthood and NAF staffers “contain no evidence of criminal activity.” The ruling came just hours after the California Attorney General filed a criminal complaint and arrest warrant detailing 15 felony charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt for recording confidential conversations and felony conspiracy.

“[This] ruling helps protect the safety and security of our members,” said Vicki Saporta, NAF President and CEO. “There’s no denying that the smear campaign launched by the defendants has put abortion providers at risk, and we are grateful that the Ninth Circuit affirmed our preliminary injunction.”

“This victory is crucial to protecting abortion providers,” said WLP Senior Staff Attorney Susan J. Frietsche, who co-authored the brief filed by Women’s Law Project with David S. Cohen, professor of law at Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law. “With the proliferation of both fake news and the rise of radical anti-abortion extremism, we are grateful to the courts for realizing the importance of protecting women and doctors from dishonest schemes like Daleiden’s that are intended to smear good providers and provoke violence against them.”

Last week, the Women’s Law Project filed an amici brief on behalf of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Feminist Majority Foundation in support of plaintiff scientists and researchers in a related case also concerning protecting targets of anti-abortion harassment from harm.

That case, Jane and John Does 1-10 v. David Daleiden, concerns the limits that the constitutional right of informational privacy relevant to disclosure of state records under the Washington Public Records Act. The plaintiffs, who remained anonymous due to fear of harassment and harm, are seeking to keep their personal information off of any records provided to defendant David Daleiden.

The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.

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About womenslawproject

The Women's Law Project creates a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of all women throughout their lives. To this end, we engage in high-impact litigation, advocacy, and education.
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