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PROTESTERS FACE $25,000 FINE

PROTESTERS FACE $25,000 FINE

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The New York-New Jersey chapter of Operation Rescue and three individuals were each fined $25,000 Friday for violating a federal judge's order against blocking access to abortion clinics.

The contempt findings stemmed from a July 14 protest when several pro-life activists locked themselves in a waiting room at the Metro Women's Center on East 55th Street in Manhattan.

The weeklong series of protests was timed to coincide with the Democratic National Convention.

Chris Slattery, a spokesman for the Bi-state Operation Rescue Network, called the ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Ward "outrageous."

He also noted that a 1989 federal court injunction against Operation Rescue is currently on appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court. A ruling in that case is expected early next year.

In addition to BORN, Ward ordered fines against Christopher Moscinski of Point Reading, N.J.; Orin S. Paul of Far Rockaway in Queens, and Deborah A. Smaldove of Haddon, N.J.

The judge dropped contempt charges against three other people and against Operation Rescue National.

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