Determined the constitutionality of a Colorado statute that protects women’s access to reproductive health services by making it unlawful for an individual to knowingly come closer than eight feet to a person within 100 feet of a health care facility, without first getting that person’s consent.
The Colorado statute in question was enacted in 1993 by the Colorado General Assembly in order to safeguard public access to health care clinics. Prior to its enactment, protestors regularly blockaded clinics and physically assaulted women trying to enter the clinics. Petitioners, who had all demonstrated outside health care facilities for a number of years, challenged the statute’s constitutionality under the First Amendment. The case arrived at the Supreme Court for the second time in 1999.
On June 28, 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that the Colorado statute in a 6-3 vote. The Court determined that the Colorado statue was narrowly tailored to meet the state’s interest of protecting access to health care. The majority opinion was written by Justice Stevens with Justices Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas dissenting. Legal Momentum, with co-counsel Professor Lucinda Finley on behalf of the National Abortion Federation and the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, filed an amicus brief in support of the Colorado statute.