WASHINGTON (May 26, 1998) -- Helen Alvare, Director of Planning and Information, Secretariat for Pro-LifeActivities, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement today:
"We are disappointed that the United States Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). While the National Conference of Catholic Bishops does not organize pro-life demonstrations or events outside abortion clinics, since the early days of the FACE bill we have opposed singling out pro-life activists for targeted, viewpoint-based punishment. We hope that the Supreme Court will accept in the future another case challenging this unconstitutional law."
On May 26, the Supreme Court, without comment, turned away the arguments of pro-life protestors from North Carolina that the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act discriminates against abortion opponents. The protestors also said Congress overstepped its authority to regulate interstate commerce when it passed the law.
The protestors challenged the federal law after President Clinton signed it in May, 1994.
A federal judge struck down the law, ruling that it violates the First Amendment protection of free speech. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed that ruling.