In the latest episode of Boom! Lawyered, Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo talk with Rewire‘s Jenn Stanley and Sofia Resnick about their new audio documentary, “Marching Toward Gilead: The Rise of American Theocracy.”
This two-part documentary dives deep on Operation Save America (OSA), an organization committed to a theocratic vision of America, and reveals the alarming ways OSA’s fundamentalist far-right ideology has wormed its way into state and federal government. Jess and Imani also unpack the key laws involved, including the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act and the concept of “justifiable homicide.”
An edited excerpt:
Imani: What does [the FACE Act] do exactly?
Jess: Specifically, FACE makes it a federal offense to do a couple different types of things, like use force, or threats of force, or to physically block access to reproductive health care facilities. That includes things like gluing clinic locks shut, which activists have done, forming human chains in front of clinics, which activists have done, stealing and posting patient records online, which activists have done, to even mailing letters telling doctors that they might find a bomb under their car if they keep providing abortions, which-
Imani: Wait, wait, wait. Let me guess. Activists have done that, too?
Jess: Can you believe it?
Imani: I’m shocked. Basically, anything that could intimidate patients, providers, and their companions out of getting to a clinic.
Jess: Yeah, it covers all of that. Who can bring a FACE Act claim? A state attorney general or the Department of Justice, they can bring either civil or criminal claims or both. Now, individuals like patients or providers or escorts, they can bring their own civil lawsuits. In other words, FACE has both criminal and civil penalties. Only the state can bring criminal charges, and individuals can bring lawsuits in their own name as well.