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State sues Jamaica abortion protesters

“These tactics are very clearly illegal,” said Schneiderman, who said he worked as a volunteer at a clinic as a young man.

© 2017 Queens Chronicle
By Michael Gannon, Editor
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State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is suing 14 people, including two women with ties to a Woodhaven church, over allegations that they have repeatedly blocked or obstructed access to a Jamaica clinic that provides medical services to women including abortions.

The 32-page complaint, filed in federal court on Tuesday, also alleges that in some cases patients and staff have been verbally and physically intimidated and in some cases threatened.

Schneiderman and city Public Advocate Letitia James announced the action at a press conference on Tuesday outside the Choices Women’s Medical Center on 148th Street.

Schneiderman, clinic founder Merle Hoffman and others allege that people attempting to enter the clinic on Saturdays are subjected to verbal and physical abuse.

“These tactics are very clearly illegal,” said Schneiderman, who said he worked as a volunteer at a clinic as a young man.
“The law guarantees women the right to control their own bodies and access to the healthcare they need without obstruction,” a right he said is “firmly established in federal, New York State and New York City Law.”

He said in some cases people entering the clinic are pushed into the building’s walls or must head out into the street to avoid protesters. The suit alleges that the incidents began in 2012.

The named defendants include Angela Braxton and Jasmine LaLonde, said to be affiliated with Grace Baptist Church in Woodhaven.

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State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in Jamaica on Tuesday, pointing to a still photo from a video purporting to show physical confrontations between protesters and people attempting to enter the Choices Women’s Medical Center.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in Jamaica on Tuesday, pointing to a still photo from a video purporting to show physical confrontations between protesters and people attempting to enter the Choices Women’s Medical Center.