Thursday, September 08, 2011

Obama Admin. Targets Pro-lifers for Prosecution

The Department of Justice is now prosecuting a 79-year-old grandfather. The reason: Richard Retta walks alongside women on the sidewalk outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility and offers women hope that they can carry their babies to term.

The Department of Justice's civil rights division has filed more civil cases against pro-life sidewalk counselors during Barack Obama's administration than the previous administration.

For background, read White House Targets Pro-lifers with Lawsuits

-- From "Justice Department Tougher On Abortion Protesters" by Carrie Johnson, NPR 9/1/11

The Obama Justice Department has been taking a more aggressive approach against people who block access to abortion clinics, using a 1994 law to bring cases in greater numbers than its predecessor.

Over the past two years, the Justice Department and FBI have been meeting with abortion-rights groups and medical providers all over the country to explain their work and talk about a federal task force designed to prevent violence against doctors and women seeking abortions.

. . . [Richard] Retta, who has seven children and 11 grandkids, says he is moved by his Catholic faith to do what he calls sidewalk counseling. Retta says he has gotten pushed around outside the clinic, too. He says he was standing by the gate and a woman sprayed him with pepper spray in July, putting him "out of commission" for a while.

"I have First Amendment rights to offer women information," he says. "I have a right to talk to the women."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Obama Admin. Pursues Civil Cases Against Pro-life Street Counselors" by Stephanie Samuel, Christian Post Reporter 9/3/11

The Justice Department (DOJ) has filed eight cases against pro-lifers under the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances, or FACE, Act in the nearly three years that Obama has served as president. The number seems small on its own. However it is a huge increase when compared to the one case filed during the eight years President George W. Bush served in office

Life Legal Defense Foundation Executive Director Dana Cody said abortion clinics are determined to silence the pro-life opposition.

She explained that Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers "do not like the fact that there's people out there [doing] what they call sidewalk counseling because women change their mind and they don't go in and purchase an abortions. So it cuts into their business."

The clinics demonize pro-lifers in the public's eyes in order to keep street counselors away from their patients.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Planned Parenthood Backs Obama Admin Targeting Pro-Lifers" by Steven Ertelt, 9/2/11

. . . Obama officials are suing Retta for $10,000 for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, and is ordering him to pay compensatory damages of $5,000 each to three supposed victims of Retta handing out information and telling women to not have an abortion.

The Obama administration’s lawsuit came months after it partnered with leading pro-abortion organizations to host an FBI training seminar with the main focus of declaring as “violent” the free speech activities of pro-life Americans.

On August 25, 2010, the FBI and the United States Department of Justice co-sponsored a training seminar with Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation and the Feminist Majority Foundation.

FBI and Obama administration officials provided participants with an 84-page document entitled “Resource Guide: Violence Against Reproductive Health Care Providers” that contained print copies of Power Point presentations prepared by the Justice Department and an analysis of alleged pro-life “violence” prepared by the pro-abortion groups.

The so-called violence perpetrated by pro-life advocates mostly contained examples of constitutionally-protected free speech, including activities such as praying,

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "A Politicized Justice Department Strikes Again" by Hans A. von Spakovsky, posted at National Review Online 8/17/11

Retta estimates that he and other volunteers have helped more than 1,300 women change their minds about abortion. But that kind of success seems to be too much for this administration. It is so committed to the agenda of abortion groups that it threatened to shut down the entire government during the budget debate earlier this year to preserve more than $300 million in federal funds for Planned Parenthood. It also has threatened to cut off Medicaid funds to states like Indiana that ban state grants to the organization.

. . . the FACE Act (18 U.S.C. § 248) forbids only physical obstruction, intimidation, or the use or threat of force. The FACE Act protects the activity that Retta engaged in: The statute specifically states that it does not “prohibit any expressive conduct (including peaceful picketing or other peaceful demonstration).”

Retta was not dressed in a black paramilitary uniform, he was not carrying a nightstick, and he was not yelling racial epithets or blocking the entrance to a polling place. Yet this is the same Justice Department that dismissed a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther party, whose members engaged in exactly that behavior. Somehow the behavior and speech of a 79-year-old sidewalk counselor violates federal law against intimidation, but the speech and behavior of the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia in 2008 was just fine, according to the skewed perspective of the liberals who inhabit the Civil Rights Division these days.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.