Did you know that the Obama administration convened a meeting of the National Task Force on Violence Against Reproductive Health Care Providers in June 2009? Immediately following that meeting, several peaceful pro-life sidewalk counselors came under federal investigation. In the two years since the task force declared war against the pro-life movement, the Department of Justice has filed eight lawsuits under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, a statistic they touted before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month. The FACE Act is designed to protect patients seeking abortion against threats of physical violence. However, the Obama administration is using the FACE Act to intimidate and bully peaceful sidewalk counselors. A notable example of this intimidation is the recent prosecution of 79 year old Richard Retta in Washington D.C. The recent surge in FACE prosecutions is not about physical safety at all. As Troy Newman, Director of Operation Rescue, recently commented on the threat to sidewalk counselors, “It’s really a political tool to shut them up, shut them down, and make them go away.” LLDF will not let peaceful prolife advocates be silenced. We are working with local attorneys Vincent Heuser and Michael Hirsh to defend the First Amendment right to Free Speech in another FACE case, Holder v. Hamilton. Continue to check our website for updates on the Hamilton and Retta cases.