Protecting Access to Abortion Clinics

Abortion providers and abortion clinic staff have been the targets of bombings, arson, threats, and other acts of violence for decades. As a result of such violence, the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) was enacted in 1994 to protect abortion providers, clinics, and their patients. FACE authorizes criminal penalties and civil remedies for injuring, interfering with, obstructing, or intimidating anyone who provides or obtains reproductive health services. Some states have enacted laws similar to FACE, which specifically prohibit trespassing; causing physical injury or obstruction, making threats, engaging in telephone harassment, or damaging property. Some states have also established a “bubble zone,” which protects the area surrounding a person entering or exiting a facility, or a buffer zone, which protects an area of a specific size surrounding the facility.

This dataset explores abortion regulations in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in effect as of December 1, 2018, as well as case law and attorney general opinions that affect the enforceability of these laws.

This dataset is a part of a suite of 16 datasets created by the Policy Surveillance Program of the Center for Public Health Law Research in collaboration with subject matter experts from the Guttmacher Institute, Resources for Abortion Delivery (RAD), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), National Abortion Federation (NAF), and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), who conceptualized and developed the Abortion Law Project. If you need broader contextual information on state laws and policies, national level information, or data and evidence related to abortion and other reproductive health issues, please contact the Guttmacher Institute at info@guttmacher.org.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice. If you have questions regarding your legal rights or obligations, contact an attorney. If you are an abortion provider seeking legal compliance guidance, the following collaborating organizations may be able to assist you: ACLU, CRR, PPFA (for affiliated health centers), NAF, and Regulatory Assistance for Abortion Providers (a project of RAD).

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