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Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly

Authors

Aditi Mukherji

Abstract

To keep up with the evolving methods of radical antiabortion tactics in the digital age, the California Legislature enacted Government Code Section 6218 and related provisions. The statute imposes civil penalties on any person who posts online specific personal information about abortion providers or patients with the intent to threaten or incite violence against a provider or patient. Apart from Section 6218.01, however, Section 6218 does not expressly confront the issue of media liability under the statute. This Note explores the probable result of a Section 6218 claim were a member of the press to releases personal information online about individual reproductive healthcare providers, or patients, in conjunction with radical antiabortion statements.

This Note surveys the history of antiabortion violence, speech, and precedents that precipitated the enactment of California Government Code Section 6218 and related provisions. This Note then analyzes a hypothetical application of Section 6218, drawn from popular television commentary, to illustrate the new law's purpose and effect.

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