On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned in disgrace after four women accused him of sexual assault, specifically choking. In an act of high hypocrisy, the former A.G. sued pro-life activists for “unwanted physical contact” last year.
Schneiderman’s pro-abortion activism traces back decades. Just last week, he recalled working at an abortion clinic before going to college.
“A year before Roe v. Wade, I graduated from high school. I didn’t go right to college. Instead, I went to Washington, DC and got a job working at an abortion clinic,” Schneiderman declared at an event for the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH). He recalled escorting women from the airport to the abortion clinic. “It seemed, to my seventeen-year-old self, that I was meeting refugees fleeing oppression in their homeland.”
In those remarks, he declared, “If a woman does not have the right to control her own body, she is not truly equal. She is not truly free.”
That right for a woman to control her own body seems not to apply to Schneiderman’s private life, if the women who told their harrowing stories to The New Yorker are to be believed. The women alleged that Schneiderman slapped them, choked them, and even warned that he would have them killed if they broke up with him.
A woman’s right to autonomy over her body also does not apply to pro-life protesters, apparently. Last June, Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against no fewer than twelve pro-life activists.
“Since 2012, protesters have subjected incoming patients to a barrage of unwanted physical contact, as well as verbal abuse, threats of harm, and lies about the clinic’s hours and its services,” the lawsuit alleged. “Protesters descend on approaching patients to harangue them, sometimes pinning them against the clinic’s exterior wall or parking meters, and even forcing them into the street and oncoming traffic as they try to escape the protesters.”
Tellingly, the suit continued, “Some protesters go so far as to touch or grab at patients to get their attention and force printed anti-choice materials on them” (emphasis added).
The attorney general based his suit on the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). U.S. District Judge Carol Bagley Amon heard arguments earlier this year, and the suit has yet to be settled or decided.
Some pro-life activists have gone too far in pushing women away from abortion clinics, but most of them are careful not to break the law in attempting to prevent women from having their unborn children killed in utero.
In February, Schneiderman brought a civil rights lawsuit against the Weinstein Company, targeting Weinstein after he was accused of sexual harassment.
The former attorney general also congratulated The New York Times and The New Yorker for their coverage of sexual harassment allegations in the #MeToo movement.
Compounding the hypocrisy, he supported an strangulation prevention bill and championed the Violence Against Women Act.
“His hypocrisy is epic,” Michelle Manning Barish, one of Schneiderman’s accusers, told The New Yorker. “He’s fooled so many people.”