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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

March-25-98

Testimony Continues in NOW vs. Scheidler

Testimony in NOW vs. Scheidler continued as anti-abortion leaders admitted that they were involved in blockades and activities intended to close down the clinics. Tim Murphy and Andrew Scholberg, former employees of the Pro-Life Action League, testified that they were present at annual meetings with Joseph Scheidler and that they planned blockades and training sessions.

Judge David Coar denied the defendants’ request to show a video of former Operation Rescue leader Randall Terry preaching on the “evils of abortion.”

Judge Coar asked plaintiffs to testify and describe the costs to the clinics for “specific acts” by the anti-abortion groups. Testimony was given by Susan Hill, president of the National Women’s Health Organization and owner of an abortion clinic in Wilmington, Delaware. Hill said that the clinic hired armed guards, installed metal detectors and 24-hour surveillance monitors and hired a locksmith to unplug locks that were filled with glue by anti-abortion extremists.

NOW attorneys claim that the blockades were in violation of the Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organization Act. Attorney Kerry Miller said, “Blockading is extortion. It’s the use of fear and force to prevent someone from exercising their rights.”

Media Resources: UPI - March 23/24, 1998


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