Pro-life protesters threatened to kill clinic patients, workers: suit
By Lia Eustachewich | June 20, 2017 – A group of aggressive anti-abortion protesters are being sued for harassing patients and workers at a clinic in Queens for years – including hurling death threats at them and pinning them against walls.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against 14 protesters who’ve picketed outside of Choices Women’s Medical Center in Jamaica for at least the past five years.
Choices, an outpatient clinic, provides a host of medical services to women, including abortions.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman points to a poster showing alleged harassment outside the Queens clinic. Dennis A. Clark
Schneiderman accuses the pro-life demonstrators of targeting patients and employees every Saturday morning, telling them “You don’t know when you might get shot” and even calling them murderers.
Some of the protesters have pinned patients to outside walls of the facility and blocked arriving others from exiting their cars.
They’re also accused of recording patients and using disturbing posters of mangled fetuses to block people from entering the clinic.
The suit, filed in Brooklyn federal court, seeks a preliminary injunction barring the rowdy group from protesting, as well as a 16-foot buffer zone around the clinic to help protect patients and staffers.
“The tactics used to harass and menace Choices’ patients, families, volunteers, and staff are not only horrifying – they’re illegal,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “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.”
The AG’s office launched an investigation in June 2016 after receiving a series of complaints about protesters’ aggressive behavior at Choices.