SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court today upheld restrictions on rowdy right-to-life demonstrators found in contempt of a federal court order for disrupting abortion services at a Portland, Ore., clinic.
The use of an injunction to curtail taunting, jeering anti-abortion demonstrators could become a model for other areas of the country where spirited demonstrations have obstructed legitimate abortion services for women, authorities said.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the validity of an injunction against Advocates for Life Inc., a nonprofit corporation that engages in right-to-life advocacy, seven members of the group and 100 unnamed demonstrators.
The Portland Feminist Women's Health Center sued to curtail rowdy demonstrations that have continued regularly outside the clinic since 1984.
The Advocates group challenged the order by U.S. District Judge Helen Frye limiting the yelling and intimidation of patients. The group argued that it was an infringement of their constitutional rights of free expression.