Summary: H.R.796 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (11/18/1993)

Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1993 - Amends the Federal criminal code to prohibit: (1) intentionally injuring, intimidating, or interfering with any person by force, threat of force, or physical obstruction because that person or any other person or class of persons is obtaining or providing reproductive health services; or (2) intentionally damaging or destroying the property of a facility because that facility provides reproductive health services. Subjects violators to specified penalties (including up to life imprisonment if death results) or civil remedies, except that a parent or legal guardian or a minor shall not be subject to such a penalty or remedy insofar as such activities are directed exclusively at that minor.

Authorizes civil actions by aggrieved persons, the Attorney General, and State attorneys general for violations. Specifies that in any such action: (1) the court may award appropriate relief (including temporary, preliminary, or permanent injunctive relief) and compensatory and punitive damages for each person aggrieved by the violation; and (2) with respect to compensatory damages, the aggrieved person may elect, at any time before the rendering of final judgment, to recover an award of statutory damages in the amount of $5,000 per violation in lieu of actual damages. Authorizes the court to award reasonable fees for attorneys and expert witnesses to the prevailing party, other than the United States.

Specifies that: (1) nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct (including peaceful picketing or other peaceful demonstration) protected from legal prohibition by the first amendment or interfere with the authority of States to enforce State or local laws regulating the provision of reproductive health services; and (2) the Congress does not intend this Act to provide the exclusive remedies with respect to the conduct prohibited by it, nor to preempt State legislation that may provide such remedies.