Sunday, September 4, 2011

DOJ steps up to protect women's reproductive health care rights

One of the things I've been trying to chronicle are the successes of Attorney General Eric Holder's Department of Justice. Nowhere in the Obama administration is good government being restored more forcefully these days.

Whether or not you have an online law degree, it is evident that good things are being done to protect women. The DOJ is doing a great job.

So notch up yet another important achievement with this story from NPR.

The Obama Justice Department has been taking a more aggressive approach against people who block access to abortion clinics, using a 1994 law to bring cases in greater numbers than its predecessor.

The numbers are most stark when it comes to civil lawsuits, which seek to create buffer zones around clinic entrances for people who have blocked access in the past. Under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, or FACE Act, the Justice Department's civil rights division has filed eight civil cases since the start of the Obama administration. That's a big increase over the George W. Bush years, when one case was filed in eight years.

"There's been a substantial difference between this administration and the one immediately prior," says Ellen Gertzog, director of security for Planned Parenthood. "From where we sit, there's currently much greater willingness to carefully assess incidents when they occur and to proceed with legal action when appropriate."

Over the past two years, the Justice Department and FBI have been meeting with abortion-rights groups and medical providers all over the country to explain their work and talk about a federal task force designed to prevent violence against doctors and women seeking abortions.

I am growing more and more convinced that one of the problems with our political discussions these days in general - and with the poutragers in particular - is that we place a singular emphasis on legislation and completely miss the importance of administration and implementation. This is an example of how we can achieve "the change we believe in" through the later.


  1. "poutragers" - good one. But I'm afraid they are as "fact-deprived" as the "rightragers."

  2. Leslie


    You pre-empted by next post with that comment.