Friday, May 06, 2011

White House Targets Pro-lifers with Lawsuits

The Obama administration's Justice Department has sued at least a half dozen pro-life demonstrators, accusing them of trying to block access to abortion clinics.

-- From "Feds suing more abortion activists" by Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press 5/4/11

The Justice Department under President Barack Obama has taken a harder line against anti-abortion activists accused of trying to block access to clinics, suing at least a half-dozen of them under a federal law that lay mostly dormant during the Bush administration.

Since Obama's inauguration, federal lawsuits have been filed against a woman who blocked a car from entering a clinic in West Palm Beach, Fla.; a Texas man who threw his body across the door of a patient waiting area in San Antonio; and a Pennsylvania man who posted on the Internet the names and addresses of abortion providers and extolled his readers to kill them.

Government records obtained by The Associated Press show that in slightly over two years, the Obama Justice Department has filed six lawsuits under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, mostly to seek injunctions and fines. That compares with just one such lawsuit during the entire eight years of George W. Bush.

President Bill Clinton signed the law in 1994 after a turbulent period that included massive sit-ins at clinics, clinic bombings and other anti-abortion activities that culminated with Tiller being wounded in a 1993 shooting. The Clinton Justice Department subsequently filed 17 civil lawsuits under the law during his remaining term.

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From "Obama's DOJ ups ante on pro-life groups" by Charlie Butts, OneNewsNow 5/5/11

The lawsuits, filed by the administration under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, charge the demonstrators with civil acts, not criminal acts. Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, says pro-lifers certainly have constitutional rights of free speech -- and criminal cases are more difficult to prove in court.

In one case, a Kansas woman wrote a letter to a physician who planned to open a Wichita abortion facility. She was taken to court as a result, but a federal judge ruled in the woman's favor based on her constitutional rights. No laws were broken.

However, von Spakovsky is reminded of the outrage over members of the New Black Panthers intimidating voters outside a polling place in the November 2008 election and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder refusing to pursue prosecution.

Yet, he says, the federal government took a Kansas woman to court for writing a letter to the physician -- a letter containing no threat of violence whatsoever.

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From "DOJ Targets Pro-Life Activists" by Raven Clabough, New American 5/5/11

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, when members of the New Black Panther Party stood outside voting booths on Election Day ’08 wearing military-type uniforms, bearing clubs and hurling racial epithets at voters, they were not engaged in voter intimidation. But now the same DOJ has determined that pro-life activists standing outside abortion clinics are trying to block access to the clinics. In fact, the Justice Department has sued half a dozen pro-life activists under a federal law that was relatively unused during the Bush administration.

. . . Operation Rescue President Troy Newman contends, “You don’t just go around filing injunctions against people that you believe are proponents of violence. Domestic violence cases have proven that little injunctions don’t stop people from committing acts of violence.… They are pretty weak cases all around the country.”

Newman asserts that if it has proof of criminal misconduct, the government should file criminal charges under broadly written criminal statutes, instead of pursuing lawsuits against mostly peaceful pro-life activists under an act that specifically targets them.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.