Press Release (4/27/10): "Two Men Found Guilty of Violating Federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in New York City"
New York, NY—Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) is pleased that Richard R. Dugan and Theodore A. Puckett were found guilty yesterday, following a one-day bench trial before United States District Judge Robert W. Sweet in Manhattan federal court, of unlawfully obstructing the entrances to a Planned Parenthood of New York City health center, thereby interfering with clinic staff and patients, in violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
Joan Malin, President and CEO of PPNYC said:
"PPNYC is pleased that the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has rendered a guilty verdict in this case. The court has sent an important message—that the women, men and teens of New York City shall not be impeded in accessing reproductive health care, and that blockading entrances to health care clinics will not be tolerated.
The first priority of Planned Parenthood of New York City is the continued health and safety of our staff and our patients. Although we vigorously defend the right of anyone to peacefully voice their opinion and to hold peaceful protest, when the line is crossed into acts of intimidation, violence and/or blocking access to our health centers, we rely on local law enforcement officials, the FBI and the US Attorney's office to take action and bring violators of city, state and federal law to justice. We thank them for their vigilance in upholding these laws. We also thank the community in which we operate for their commitment to women, men and teens having unfettered access to reproductive health services. Their proactivity when they have concerns about protester activity has been appreciated.”
Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers. Serving more than 45,000 clients annually, PPNYC’s three health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx offer reproductive health services, including gynecological care, contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and HIV testing and counseling. Through a threefold mission of clinical services, education, and advocacy, PPNYC is bringing better health and more fulfilling lives to each new generation of New Yorkers. As a voice for reproductive freedom, PPNYC supports legislation and policies to ensure that all New Yorkers—and, in fact, people around the world—will have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.