Planned Parenthood and several other abortion providers won a victory in February when a Portland jury ordered militant anti-abortion protestors to pay $109 million for threatening abortion providers with "Wanted Posters" and The Nuremberg Files Web site. The plaintiffs, however, have collected virtually no payments.
Last Spring U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones ruled that defendants who created the Nuremburg Files and "wanted" posters featuring abortion doctors amounted to "blatant and illegal communication of true threats to kill" and violated federal anti-racketeering laws and the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
To date, more than 10 months after the verdict, the plaintiffs have collected $375.56. Defendants are considered "judgment proof," meaning that on paper they appear penniless. Andrew Burnett, leader of Advocates for Life Ministries (AFLM), who owes $8.5 million, claims he earns about $700 a month. Yet according to his 1998 tax returns, Burnett and his wife, Diane Burnett, listed a gross income of about $191,000. Ms. Burnett owns the house where they live and Good Impressions, the Portland printing company where the couple works.
Just last month, Burnett announced that as of December 31, 1999, AFLM and its Life Advocate magazine was closing. Burnett cited the lawsuit brought against AFLM by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, as a factor in the group's demise.
Maria Vullo, attorney for Planned Parenthood, stated that the financial activities of AFLM, Good Impressions, and Burnett himself were attempts to avoid payment to her client. "They're just trying to avoid our bill and funnel money among themselves as they have for years," said Vullo.
Judge Jones postponed any further action until next year to give the defendants time to answer Vullo's and Planned Parenthood's claims.
Media Resources: The Oregonian - December 16, 1999 and Feminist Majority Foundation
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .