The Justice Department under President Barack Obama has taken a harder line against anti-abortion activists accused of trying to block access to clinics, suing at least a half-dozen of them under a federal law that lay mostly dormant during the Bush administration.
The law, written to protect people who seek or provide abortions, was revived after Obama took office and in the wake of the 2009 slaying of Kansas abortion provider George Tiller, who was shot to death moments before Sunday services were to begin at his Wichita church.
Since Obama’s inauguration, federal lawsuits have been filed against a woman who blocked a car from entering a clinic in West Palm Beach, Fla.; a Texas man who threw his body across the door of a patient waiting area in San Antonio; and a Pennsylvania man who posted on the Internet the names and addresses of abortion providers and urged his readers to kill them.
Government records show that in slightly over two years, the Obama Justice Department has filed six lawsuits under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. That compares with just one such lawsuit during the eight years of George W. Bush’s administration.