skip to main content

S. 636 (103rd): Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 17, 1994 (Passed the House with an Amendment).

Summary of this bill

Source: Wikipedia

The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE or the Access Act, Pub. L. No. 103-259, 108 Stat. 694) (May 26, 1994, 18 U.S.C. § 248) is a United States law that was signed by President Bill Clinton in May 1994, which prohibits the following three things: (1) the use of physical force, threat of physical force, or physical obstruction to intentionally injure, intimidate, interfere with or attempt to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person who is obtaining reproductive health services or providing reproductive health services (this portion of the law typically refers to abortion clinics), (2) the use of physical force, threat of physical force, or ...


S 636 EAH

In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

March 17, 1994.

Resolved, That the bill from the Senate (S. 636) entitled ‘An Act to amend the Public Health Service Act to permit individuals to have freedom of access to certain medical clinics and facilities, and for other purposes’, do pass with the following

AMENDMENTS:

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1993’.

SEC. 2. FREEDOM OF ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES.

    Chapter 13 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘Sec. 248. Blocking access to reproductive health services

    ‘(a) PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES- Whoever--

      ‘(1) by force, threat of force, or physical obstruction, intentionally injures, intimidates, or interferes with any person, or attempts to do so, because that person or any other person or class of persons is obtaining or providing reproductive health services; or

      ‘(2) intentionally damages or destroys the property of a facility, or attempts to do so, because that facility provides reproductive health services;

    shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section and also be subject to the civil remedy provided in subsection (c) of this section, except that a parent or legal guardian of a minor shall not be subject to any penalties or civil remedies under this section for such activities insofar as they are directed exclusively at that minor.

    ‘(b) PENALTIES- Whoever violates subsection (a) of this section shall--

      ‘(1) in the case of a first offense, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both; and

      ‘(2) in the case of a second or subsequent offense after a prior conviction under this section, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both;

    except that, if bodily injury results, the length of imprisonment shall be not more than 10 years, and if death results, it shall be for any term of years or for life.

    ‘(c) CIVIL ACTIONS-

      ‘(1) RIGHT OF ACTION GENERALLY- Any person who is aggrieved by a violation of subsection (a) of this section may in a civil action obtain relief under this subsection.

      ‘(2) ACTION BY ATTORNEY GENERAL- If the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that any person, or group of persons, is aggrieved by a violation of subsection (a) of this section, the Attorney General may in a civil action obtain relief under this subsection.

      ‘(3) ACTIONS BY STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL- If an attorney general of a State has reasonable cause to believe that any person or group of persons is aggrieved by a violation of subsection (a) of this section, that attorney general may in a civil action obtain relief under this subsection.

      ‘(4) RELIEF- In any action under this subsection, the court may award any appropriate relief, including temporary, preliminary or permanent injunctive relief, and compensatory and punitive damages for each person aggrieved by the violation. With respect to compensatory damages, the aggrieved person may elect, at any time before the rendering of final judgment, to recover, in lieu of actual damages, an award of statutory damages in the amount of $5,000 per violation. The court may award to the prevailing party, other than the United States, reasonable fees for attorneys and expert witnesses.

    ‘(d) RULES OF CONSTRUCTION- (1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct (including peaceful picketing or other peaceful demonstration) protected from legal prohibition by the first article of amendment to the Constitution.

    ‘(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to interfere with the authority of States to enforce State or local laws regulating the provision of reproductive health services.

    ‘(e) NON-PREEMPTION- Congress does not intend this section to provide the exclusive remedies with respect to the conduct prohibited by it, nor to preempt the legislation of the States that may provide such remedies.

    ‘(f) DEFINITIONS- As used in this section, the following definitions apply:

      ‘(1) REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES- The term ‘reproductive health services’ means reproductive health services provided in a hospital, clinic, physician’s office, or other facility, and includes medical, surgical, counselling or referral services relating to the human reproductive system.

      ‘(2) FACILITY- The term ‘facility’ includes the building or structure in which the facility is located.

      ‘(3) PHYSICAL OBSTRUCTION- The term ‘physical obstruction’ means rendering impassable ingress to or egress from a facility that provides reproductive health services, or rendering passage to or from such facility unreasonably difficult.

      ‘(4) STATE- The term ‘State’ includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

      ‘(5) INTIMIDATE- The term ‘intimidate’ means to place a person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm to himself or herself or to another.’.

SEC. 3. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act takes effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply only with respect to conduct occurring on or after such date.

SEC. 4. CLERICAL AMENDMENT.

    The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 13 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

      ‘248. Blocking access to reproductive health services.’.

Amend the title so as to read: ‘An Act to amend title 18, United States Code, to assure freedom of access to reproductive services.’.

Attest:

Clerk.