Monday, August 1, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
ALAMOGORDO, N.M.-- A New Mexico man's decision to lash out with a billboard ad saying his ex-girlfriend had an abortion against his wishes has touched off a legal debate over free speech and privacy rights.
The sign on Alamogordo's main thoroughfare shows 35-year-old Greg Fultz holding the outline of an infant. The text reads, "This Would Have Been A Picture Of My 2-Month Old Baby If The Mother Had Decided To Not KILL Our Child!"
Fultz's ex-girlfriend has taken him to court for harassment and violation of privacy. A domestic court official has recommended the billboard be removed.
But Fultz's attorney argues the order violates his client's free speech rights.
"As distasteful and offensive as the sign may be to some, for over 200 years in this country the First Amendment protects distasteful and offensive speech," Todd Holmes said.
The woman's friends say she had a miscarriage, not an abortion, according to a report in the Albuquerque Journal.
Holmes disputes that, saying his case is based on the accuracy of his client's statement.
"My argument is: What Fultz said is the truth," Holmes said.
The woman's lawyer said she had not discussed the pregnancy with her client. But for Ellen Jessen, whether her client had a miscarriage or an abortion is not the point. The central issue is her client's privacy and the fact that the billboard has caused severe emotional distress, Jessen said.
"Her private life is not a matter of public interest," she told the Alamogordo Daily News.
Jessen says her client's ex-boyfriend has crossed the line.
"Nobody is stopping him from talking about father's rights. ... but a person can't invade someone's private life."
For his part, Holmes said that during a domestic court hearing last week he pointed to the U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year concerning the Westboro Baptist Church, which is known for demonstration signs and slogans that include anti-gay slurs.
"Very unpopular offensive speech," he told the Alamogordo Daily News. "The Supreme Court, in an 8 to 1 decision, said that is protected speech."
Holmes says he is going to fight the order to remove the billboard through a District Court appeal.
Monday, April 18, 2011
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Thursday, March 17, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
"It is a grave injustice that defenders of the dignity of human life increasingly find themselves under attack from those who wield the power of the state," said Monsignor Barreiro. "Whether these attacks are directed at a person or at organizations, the aim is clear: to stop any speech or activity which in any way challenges the anti-life orthodoxy that has infected our governing institutions."
Referring to an ethics trial against former Kansas attorney general Phill Kline, the first part of which concluded yesterday, Monsignor Barreiro said: "Mr. Kline had less than one day to defend himself after enduring over seven days of testimony against him. No one can call this a just trial, it is rather an offense to justice, clearly perpetrated by those in power who want to see Mr. Kline punished for having the integrity to do his job and try to protect the women and children of Kansas."
Referring to a recent decision by the New York City Council to restrict the language available to anti-abortion pregnancy centers within the city, Monsignor Barreiro said: "Can you imagine any other service being told by its opponents what language they are allowed to use to promote themselves? And yet Planned Parenthood is still allowed to call itself a 'women's healthcare provider' while they destroy unborn human life through abortions and prescribe carcinogenic medication to unsuspecting women."
"America is running out of time to stand up against what Blessed Pope John Paul II called the 'thinly disguised totalitarianism' of a state that has given up on true human values. May Our Lord have mercy on us and deliver us from such assaults, so that we can serve and defend His weakest ones during this time when true freedoms are being eroded, and false freedoms exalted."
About HLI: Human Life International: Pro-Life Missionaries to the World. Founded in 1981, HLI is the world's largest international pro-life organization and has affiliates and associates in over 100 countries on six continents. www.hli.org
Before its closure, GGHC operated five abortion clinics in four Bay Area counties, already a considerable decline from its heyday in the '90's, when it operated four abortion clinics in San Mateo County alone. Its website boasted that, as PPGG, it had been in continuous operation for over 90 years.
PPGG was not only one of the oldest Planned Parenthood affiliates; it was also one of the most litigious. PPGG instigated frequent litigation against pro-life activists from the '80's to as recently as a year ago. The affiliate was a party in at least six lawsuits against pro-life activists, as well as the impetus for a seventh suit in federal court. In each case, LLDF represented the pro-life activists whose free speech rights were threatened, including (but not limited to) Ross Foti, Lowell King, Fr. Edward Cleary, Robert Cochran, and Jeannette and Louis Garibaldi. This litigation resulted in five published court opinions.
PPGG was also one of the plaintiffs in challenging the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.
PPGG lost $2.8 million during the tax year 2008-2009 and had not broken even since 2006. GGHC was reported to have run up a shortfall totaling $536,000 in 2010 and had attempted, apparently unsuccessfully, to raise $1.5 million in order to keep its clinics open.
At the same time it was struggling to survive financially, PPGG contributed over $750,000 to defeat three California ballot initiatives, in 2005, 2006, and 2008, that would have required parental notification before a minor could have an abortion.
"As Congress debates continued funding of Planned Parenthood, it should take note of the organization's spending priorities," said LLDF President Dana Cody. "Furthering Planned Parenthood's political agenda apparently was more important than providing all those 'critical health services' that we keep hearing about."