Planned Parenthood Federation of American Affidavit in ACLU, et al v. Reno

February 25, 1996

Affidavit in ACLU, et al v. Reno 

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JANE M. JOHNSON declares under penalty of perjury that the following is true:  

1. I am Interim Co-President of plaintiff Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. (PPFA). I submit this Declaration to support plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction.  

2. PPFA is the leading national voluntary health organization in the field of reproductive health care. PPFA provides educational information about sexuality and reproductive health. PPFA engages in advocacy to assure the availability of complete and accurate information on these subjects, and to assure safe and legal access to all reproductive health services, including abortion. PPFA's 153 affiliates engage in similar education and advocacy programs; and provide a full range of reproductive health services.  

3. PPFA operates a site on the World Wide Web. The site is operated through the computer of plaintiff Institute for Global Communications, which is located in California. The site has been in operation since January 1, 1996. The site has already been accessed by several hundred users, even though its address is not yet widely accessible through the various search mechanisms.  

4. The purpose of PPFA's site is to provide sexuality education and reproductive health information to as wide an audience as possible. PPFA accomplished this goal through the information that it places on line at the site and through an e-mail service, by which users can direct specific questions to PPFA, and we can provide specific answers. PPFA has already received and responded to several inquiries through this mechanism.  

5. PPFA is concerned that the Communications Decency Act of 1996 could reach several different aspects of the information that we place on our Web site. First is information relating to practices necessary to reduce unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, such as the virus that causes AIDS. PPFA provides, for example, necessary specific instructions on how to use a condom. These instructions are accompanied by an illustration of a condom being placed on an erect penis. Additionally, to make information in these matters widely understood, PPFA employs commonly understood language, sometimes slang.  

6. Second is more general sexuality education information. PPFA provides, for example, requisite information about male and female genitalia and reproductive systems. This information is accompanied by descriptive illustrations.  

7. Third is information related to abortion. PPFA provides a broad range of information about abortion. This includes information about how to locate an abortion provider, and information about which Planned Parenthood affiliates have been participating in the recent clinical trials of the abortifacient, mifepristone.  

8. Through interactive computer services, including e-mail from its affiliates and questions and comments from e-mail service users, PPFA also receives information regarding performing and obtaining abortions, practices necessary to reduce unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, and sexuality information generally.  

9. The information on the PPFA Web site is only available to those who affirmatively seek it. When a user logs-on to the site, he or she is presented with some general information and a menu of specific topics. Specific information is only accessed by the user choosing a topic and then selecting more detailed sub-topics. Additionally, PPFA's Web site is linked to several other Web sites, including some operated by our affiliates, that provide additional information on the topics covered on the PPFA site.  

10. Although we have no information as to the age of users of our Web site, PPFA believes that minors are an audience to be addressed. We believe that the information we provide will literally save lives, prevent unintended pregnancies, and promote better health. Thus, we take great care to assure that the information we provide is complete and accurate, and is presented in a way that will interest and inform minors. We strongly believe that if we must censor this information, we will fail in our mission, and place lives at risk.  

11. In addition to communicating via interactive computer services, PPFA sends and receives information about performing and obtaining abortions through the mails and over telephone and FAX lines. For example, PPFA sends out newsletters and receives reports from its affiliates.  

DATED: New York, New York
February 7, 1996  

________________________________ JANE M. JOHNSON 

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