Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General



Associated Press: NY attorney general: Abortion buffer zones intact

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – New York’s attorney general says legal buffer zones around abortion clinics are intact in 22 of the state’s counties despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week striking down the 35-foot protest-free zone outside clinics in Massachusetts.

In an open letter to police agencies Thursday, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says his office won’t let anti-abortion activists use “a narrowly targeted” court decision to create confusion.

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Reproductive rights have been under constant attack across the country, and even in an overwhelmingly pro-choice state like New York, anti-choice protesters are constantly pushing the boundaries of intimidation. Eric has always championed a woman’s right to choose, from his early days as a public interest lawyer defending reproductive health clinic workers. In the Senate he led efforts to pass the Clinic Anti-Violence Act and a law requiring emergency contraception to be made available to victims of sexual assault. As Attorney General he successfully expanded buffer zones to protect women from harassment and intimidation around health clinics.

What is Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s record of protecting reproductive choice?

He is a lifelong activist in the pro-choice movement, and an absolute supporter of a woman’s right to choose. As Attorney General, he is using all of the tools at his disposal to enforce state and federal laws protecting the right to choose.

In private practice, he served as pro-bono counsel to groups defending clinic workers and escorts under siege by Operation Rescue and other extremist groups in the 1990s.

As a state senator, he led the effort to pass the Clinic Anti-Violence Act to protect abortion clinic workers, doctors and patients from violence and harassment. Signed into law in December 1999, this was the first piece of pro-choice legislation enacted in New York State in more than a decade.

He sponsored the original bill to implement the Women’s Health and Wellness Act, which is designed to end discrimination against women by insurance companies with regard to health care coverage, from contraceptives to mammograms.

He was the original sponsor of legislation enacted in 2003 that requires hospitals treating rape victims to make emergency contraception available to all victims in the emergency room or wherever they are treated.

He cosponsored the Reproductive Health Act as a senator and remains a strong supporter of the legislation.

He secured expanded buffer zones around Planned Parenthood clinics in Utica, Rochester and Buffalo. The clinics had previously been granted buffer zones after anti-choice activists engaged in threatening behavior and blocked access.

He is investigating misleading, and potentially illegal activities of so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers. There have been reports that these centers purport to diagnose and treat pregnant women without employing licensed doctors or nurses. He is investigating these claims in order to ensure that pregnant women in New York are given the information and proper care they need to make informed choices and to ensure a safe pregnancy.