Anti-abortion extremists said they cannot afford the nearly $86,000 in damages they were ordered to pay two abortion clinics in the landmark case NOW vs. Scheidler. Defendants Joseph Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, Operation Rescue, Anthony Scholber and Timothy Murphy claim they used up all available funds on trial fees. Scheidler commented, “A million dollars, a billion dollars, a trillion dollars, the national debt -- they won’t get it.”
Operation Rescue, Scheidler and his colleagues were found liable for violating the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law by attempting to shut down two abortion clinics through physical violence, threats and other means.
National Organization for Women (NOW) attorney Fay Clayton said she does not believe the anti-abortion claims and that she wants more than $1 million in legal fees in addition to the damages awarded by the jury, which are likely to be tripled by the judge under the civil RICO law.
Clayton commented on Cardinal Francis George of Chicago’s statement that the anti-abortion protesters had been involved in acts similar to civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s. “Martin Luther King taught nonviolent civil disobedience,” said Clayton. “These guys have done non-civil violent disobedience.”
Co-plaintiff and President of the National Women’s Health Organization (NWHO) Susan Hill said that she has received hundreds of calls from clinics and abortion providers wanting to file claims against the anti-abortion groups. Hill said, “They’ve also told me that they’re relieved, that they went in safely today.” She said, “They felt better. They felt safer.”
Feminist Majority Press Release:
Landmark Win! Civil RICO Case Cracks Anti-Abortion Ring of Conspiracy
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. . . .