Publication Date: 
Thursday, January 17, 2019

Abortion providers and abortion clinic staff have been the targets of bombings, arson, threats, and other acts of violence for decades. As a result of such violence, the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act was enacted in 1994 to protect abortion providers, clinics, and their patients. FACE authorizes criminal penalties and civil remedies for injuring, interfering with, obstructing, or intimidating anyone who provides or obtains reproductive health services. Some states have enacted laws similar to FACE, which specifically prohibit trespassing; causing physical injury or obstruction, making threats, engaging in telephone harassment, or damaging property. Some states have also established a “bubble zone,” which protects the area surrounding a person entering or exiting a facility, or a buffer zone, which protects an area of a specific size surrounding the facility.

This dataset captures laws that protect access to abortion clinics in effect as of December 1, 2018, as well as case law and attorney general opinions that affect the enforceability of these laws.

This map was created as part of the Abortion Law Project, a collaboration between the Policy Surveillance Program, Guttmacher Institute, Resources for Abortion Delivery (RAD), American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Reproductive Rights, National Abortion Federation, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.