NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) — New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced June 20 that he has filed a federal lawsuit against a group of anti-choice protesters over allegations of harassing, threatening, and menacing patients, families, escorts and clinic staff at the Choices Women’s Medical Center (“Choices”) in Jamaica, Queens.
“The tactics used to harass and menace Choices’ patients, families, volunteers, and staff are not only horrifying – they’re illegal,” Schneiderman said. “The law guarantees women the right to control their own bodies and access the reproductive health care they need without obstruction. We’ll do what it takes to protect those rights for women across New York.”
According to Scheiderman’s office, the protesters have tried to impede access to the Choices site by using a barrage of unwanted physical contact as well as verbal abuse. Schneiderman seeks to create a 16-foot buffer zone around the Choices premises in which protesters could not go to berate patients, staff and volunteers.
“It is unconscionable that any person would be subjected to harassment, threats, and even physical violence for simply seeking or providing medical care,” said public advocate Letitia James.
“Now, more than ever, is it important that we stand up in defense of the rights of New York women to access healthcare resources without being harassed or feeling endangered,” said Sen. Leroy Comrie, a Democrat whose Queens district includes Choices.