by Steven Ertelt
July 6, 2006
Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) — A California state Senate committee approved a measure prohibiting any Internet web site posting of the picture, home address, or telephone number of an abortion practitioner. The measure targets those who would threaten abortion practitioners but could be used to prosecute anyone publishing a pro-life web site.
The measure is sponsored by Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, a Democrat, and has already been approved by the state House on a 53-9 vote in May.
The bill also applies to the posting of personal information or pictures of volunteers, employees or other people associated with an abortion business.
The Senate Judiciary Committee recently approved the legislation on a 4-0 vote and it now awaits a debate and vote on the full Senate floor.
"Web sites are used by militant anti-abortion activists to publicize personal information about reproductive healthcare service providers and patients in order to threaten or incite violence against them," Evans said in a statement.
"This bill gives women and their physicians a powerful tool against these Web sites," Evans added.
However, the measure could be used to prosecute anyone operating a pro-life web site in California that has such information posted about abortion practitioners or staff of an abortion facility.
The prohibition of posting the information is limited to those who are likely to "incite a 3rd person to cause imminent great bodily harm to the person identified in the posting or display" or "to threaten the person identified in the posting or display … in a manner that places the person identified or the coresident in objectively reasonable fear for his or her personal safety."
As a result, a pro-life web site with a picture of an abortion practitioner and a note urging prayers for the person or letters written to encourage the person to stop performing abortions could be viewed as threatening or intimidating.
A web site posting a photo of abortion facility staff wheeling out a woman who was victimized by a botched abortion could be viewed by the staff as placing them in fear for their personal safety.
The Internet-abortion measure enjoys the support of leading pro-abortion groups such as California NOW, Parenthood Affiliates of California, and NARAL’s California affiliate.
Other groups have also endorsed the bill, including the California Medical Association, the California Nurses Association, and Kaiser Permanente.
The bill, AB 2251, only pertains to information posted about abortion practitioners or abortion facility staff and does not include any other medical facilities, hospitals, or other health clinics.