Earlier this week, in the wake of Dr. George Tiller's murder, I wrote:

Tiller's death is a wake-up call to the fact that our existing laws and regulatory bodies to protect against clinic violence aren't working as well as they should. As written, FACE provides a lot of protection for reproductive health providers. But we need an active task force -- or some other means of accountability -- to make sure the law is fully enforced. This is something Obama's Justice Department could commit to doing tomorrow, sending a strong signal that this type of domestic terrorism is not acceptable.

The DOJ's Civil Rights Division has now done just that, announcing today that it is reconvening the task force on clinic violence:

In an effort to coordinate the federal government’s efforts in response to the shooting of Dr. Tiller, the Civil Rights Division recently convened a meeting of the National Task Force on Violence Against Reproductive Health Care Providers, an interagency law enforcement working group that includes attorneys from the Civil Rights Division and the Criminal Division, and law enforcement officials from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. This task force was established more than a decade ago to commit resources to the reduction of threats and violence against health care providers on a national level.

Great news.

--Ann Friedman

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