Man charged with blocking access to Planned Parenthood clinic in New York

A man has been charged with unlawfully blocking access to a New York family planning clinic that provides reproductive health services, including abortion.

Christopher Moscinski, 52, was arrested on Thursday. He is accused of attaching padlocks and bicycle locks to the gated entrance to the Hempstead facility at the start of July 7. Some of the locks were covered in glue, according to court documents.

A lawyer believed to represent Moscinski was not immediately contacted for comment Thursday.

In the charging documents, law enforcement officials claim that Moscinski returned to the health center wearing a religious robe and used his body to block vehicles from entering the clinic’s parking lot until upon his arrest.

Federal agents say that after his arrest, Moscinski spoke to the media about the incident, saying in a July 14 interview that he put “six padlocks and chains” on the clinic’s doors and posed outside the door.” to try to keep this planned”. Closed parenthood for as long as possible.

Moscinski is serving a three-month state prison sentence for trespassing at an abortion clinic in White Plains, New York.

Samuel Mitchell, chief operating officer of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, said patients seeking care should not be harassed and intimidated.

“Over the years, we have seen anti-abortion extremists spew lies and use physical force to threaten our staff, intimidate our volunteers and demoralize our patients. Nationwide attacks on abortion rights have fueled their vitriol” , Mitchell said. “We will not allow our communities to be victims of extreme hatred. … We will pursue all legal remedies to ensure the safety and security of patients, staff and volunteers.”

Breon Peace, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement Moscinski prevented women from seeking the health services to which they were legally entitled.

“This office will enforce federal law to protect clinics and staff who provide reproductive health services while protecting the rights of their patients,” Peace said.

In 1994, Congress passed the FACE Act in response to an increase in violence against patients and providers of reproductive health services, officials said. It prohibits violent, threatening, harmful and obstructive behavior intended to harm, intimidate or interfere with an individual’s right to seek, obtain or provide reproductive health services, officials said.

The first convictions are misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in federal prison. Subsequent convictions, officials said, are a crime.

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