Abortion Activists Sue Pro-Life Advocates for Calling Abortion “Criminal”

“Texas criminal prohibitions on abortion continue to exist as state law until they are repealed by the legislature that enacted them.”

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Tom Ciesielka of Life News filed the following report.  It concerns lawsuits by abortion-promoting groups in Texas against pro-life supporters. 

Citizens across the state of Texas are taking legal action to protect themselves from speech-chilling lawsuits filed by abortion proponents. Attorneys from the Thomas More Society are playing offense in the Lone Star State to protect the rights of pro-life advocates in eight separate counties from as far west as Levelland to as far east as Carthage.

The not-for-profit, national public interest law firm filed lawsuits in Texas’ district courts on July 16, 2020, seeking protections for life-advocating individuals against three abortion extremist groups that are actively attempting to silence pro-life speech.

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Erick Kaardal described the events that led to the filing of these civil rights complaints. “This trio of abortion-promoting groups is on a deliberate campaign to muzzle the voices of those who support life, especially when those voices seek to remind the public that the law of Texas continues to define abortion as a criminal offense, despite Roe v. Wade.”

The lawsuits are seeking legal protection of these individuals’ First Amendment rights. The filings were prompted by aggressive attacks against pro-life advocates by abortion promoters, Afiya Center, Texas Equal Access Fund, and Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, who sued pro-life advocate Mark Lee Dickson and Right to Life of East Texas in June 2020 for alleged defamation over statements that described abortion as “criminal.”

The Thomas More Society seeks a declaratory judgment on behalf of Texas individuals who hold life-affirming views and understand that the Texas statutes criminalizing abortion remain state law.

“We are merely requesting that the court affirm the truth about Texas law, which is that Texas has never repealed its pre-Roe statutes that outlaw abortion. Therefore, it is both truthful and non-defamatory to describe abortion as a criminal act under Texas law,” Kaardal elaborated.

“It is often assumed that the Supreme Court’s judgment in Roe v. Wade somehow cancelled or formally revoked the Texas statutes that outlaw abortion unless the mother’s life is in danger,” noted Kaardal. “However, the federal judiciary has no power to erase a statute that it declares to be unconstitutional. Roe merely limits the ability of Texas officials to enforce the state’s abortion statutes against those who violate them. The 1973 United State Supreme Court decision does not, and cannot, veto or repeal the statutes themselves. Texas’s criminal prohibitions on abortion continue to exist as state law until they are repealed by the legislature that enacted them.”

“Therefore, it is entirely truthful for individuals to describe abortion as ‘criminal,’” Kaardal continued. “Those who do so cannot be subjected to defamation lawsuits for describing abortion providers and abortion-assistance organizations as ‘criminal’ entities.”

Life News report continues

David Benham Sues City of Charlotte After Arrest Outside Abortion Clinic

Benham was arrested April 4 when he and other sidewalk counselors with Cities4Life and Love Life Charlotte were ministering outside A Preferred Women’s Health Center on Latrobe Drive.

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David Benham being arrested April 4 (Facebook/Benham Brothers)

David Benham was one of eight pro-life sidewalk counselors from Cities4Life who were arrested by Charlotte, NC police. Below is a report from Jenny Rose Spaudo of  Charisma News with the details of his arrest.

David Benham and other pro-life advocates are suing the city of Charlotte after what they consider an unlawful arrest outside an abortion clinic.

A video posted on the Benham Brothers’ Facebook page shows the police telling Benham to leave and arresting him when he refused to comply.

“We are within our rights to be here,” Benham told the officers.

Benham was arrested April 4 when he and other sidewalk counselors with Cities4Life and Love Life Charlotte were ministering outside A Preferred Women’s Health Center on Latrobe Drive. He was released later that day.

Police reportedly arrested a total of eight pro-life advocates for violating North Carolina’s ban on mass gatherings. In a statement, police said around 50 protesters gathered outside the abortion clinic, violating the stay-at-home order. Officers asked all those gathered to leave, 12 of whom refused.

But Benham claims the group was not violating any orders.

“Many have labeled him a fake Christian and claimed that he was endangering lives by being out today,” the Benham Brothers’ Facebook post reads. “This couldn’t be further from the truth. David practiced social distancing and exercised every necessary precaution in light of COVID-19. Thank you for all the prayer and support so far.”

After the arrest, Sen. Ted Cruz came to Benham’s defense, saying:

“My friend David Benham was unconstitutionally arrested today in NC for peacefully providing pregnancy counseling outside an abortion clinic. If NC deems abortion ‘essential,’ then pregnancy care services are as well. This is WRONG; Governor Cooper should be ashamed.  This is an unconstitutional arrest. @BenhamBrother exercising core First Amendment rights. PEACEFULLY. In a way fully consistent w/ public safety. Because elected Dems are pro-abortion, they are abusing their power—in a one-sided way—to silence pregnancy counselors.”

Benham, president and chairman of Cities4Life, says in the lawsuit against Charlotte that the pro-life group that day adhered to social distancing guidelines. They even marked 6 feet with chalk on the sidewalk so as to ensure they maintained proper distance.

Meanwhile, he says in the lawsuit, the abortion clinic violated the state’s COVID-19 guidelines.

“While the abortion clinic began filling up with clients and numerous people roamed the parks and sidewalks for recreation and exercise, government officials targeted the selfless individuals from Cities4Life and Love Life, who were praying on the sidewalk, maintaining a safe distance from one-another and others, and helping women interested in the important charitable services they offered,” he says.

Charisma article continues here

View video of David Benham’s unlawful arrest below.

Judge Upholds David Daleiden’s 1st Amendment Right to Expose Planned Parenthood Aborted Baby Part Sales

Planned Parenthood is a government-sponsored crime syndicate selling baby body parts like widgets on an assembly line….

By Steven Ertelt
Life News

Undercover investigator David Daleiden has been vindicated in court today against the bogus lawsuit Planned Parenthood filed after his videos exposed the abortion giant for selling aborted baby parts.

Daleiden has maintained from the beginning that he and the Center for Medical Progress followed all applicable laws in the course of its investigative journalism and that the lawsuit was politically-motivated retribution as opposed to a suit based on legitimate damages.

In a big victory for the First Amendment freedoms of citizen journalists on Wednesday evening, a federal judge in San Francisco indicated his intent to decisively cut back Planned Parenthood’s retaliatory lawsuit against The Center for Medical Progress for the undercover videos documenting Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts.

In his tentative ruling, which he instructed the parties to treat as if it were substantially final, Judge William Orrick III rejected Planned Parenthood’s false and long-running smear that accused CMP citizen journalists, including David Daleiden, of attempting to incite “threats” and “violence” by publishing the undercover videos.

Judge Orrick wrote he was “inclined to exclude from the case all damages that stem from third parties’ reactions to the release of the video recordings as impermissible damages barred by the First Amendment absent a defamation claim.”Judge Orrick left in place only “damages for investigating intrusions” into Planned Parenthood’s space, and “improvements to access-security measures for conferences and facilities,” as well as nominal and statutory damages.

David Daleiden, CMP founder and project lead, told LifeNews: “Now that all the facts, evidence, and testimony are in, even Planned Parenthood’s favorite judge refuses to buy into the abortion giant’s fake news and lies about the honest motives and protected speech of pro-life citizen journalists. Planned Parenthood is a government-sponsored crime syndicate selling baby body parts like widgets on an assembly line and should only appear in federal court as a criminal defendant.”

Planned Parenthood sought more than $20 million in damages, but the Obama-appointed judge eviscerated that far-reaching request. The ruling significantly downsizes Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit, reducing potentially over $20 million at issue to less than $100,000.

According to a CMP statement to LifeNews, the “ruling affirms that citizen journalists exercising their First Amendment rights to speak and publish cannot be held liable for any bad actions taken by others in the free marketplace of ideas, absent a clear showing of defamation or intent to incite imminent lawless action. Planned Parenthood could provide no evidence or testimony in the case to back up either accusation, and so a lawsuit that was once an avalanche of charges has been reduced to essentially a trespassing dispute.”

Judge Orrick previously faced scrutiny presiding over the case because of his history founding, promoting, and donating to a Planned Parenthood clinic in San Francisco run by Plaintiff Planned Parenthood Northern California. That he would rule so strongly against Planned Parenthood speaks volumes.

Continue reading article here