Court Rejects Abortion Law Challenge

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: In a major blow to anti-abortion activists, the Supreme Court today turned away without comment a challenge to the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act banning the use of force, threats and blockades at reproductive health care facilities. The court's decision effectively leaves intact several lower court ruling which found the law not in violation of the constitutional rights of anti-abortion activists. The plaintiffs had argued that the law discriminates against the beliefs of anti-abortion protesters and violates their right of free speech and assembly. They also said that Congress lacked authority to pass the measure. A federal judge and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia had both previously upheld the law, stating it prohibits conduct, not speech, and simply aims to further the government's interest in providing safe access to reproductive health services.