Anti-Abortion Extremist Sentenced to 18 Years for Child Molestation
Anti-abortion extremist John Burt was sentenced today to over 18 years in prison for molesting a 15-year-old girl. A jury in Pensacola, Florida found him guilty of four counts of lewd or lascivious molestation and one count of lewd or lascivious contact in early April. The young girl was living at Our Father’s House, Burt’s so-called home for “unwed” mothers, at the time. Her family may sue Burt for the girl’s emotional damage.
In the early 1980s, John Burt, who was the Regional Director of Rescue America at the time, was at the center of disruptions at the Pensacola, Florida clinics. In 1986, Burt led an invasion into the Ladies Center Clinic in Pensacola, which led to his arrest and conviction along with Joan Andrews Bell, an associate of James Kopp, who was convicted of assassinating Dr. Barnett Slepian. Joseph Scheidler was touring at the time on his book, “99 Ways to Close an Abortion Clinic.” Scheidler was on the lawn in front of the clinic at the time of the invasion. This incident was the impetus for the NOW v. Scheidler case that went to the Supreme Court twice and is still in litigation.
In 1993, Burt was leading a Rescue America protest outside the second Pensacola clinic when an Our Father's House volunteer, Michael Griffin, shot and killed Dr. David Gunn in the rear of the clinic. Burt was also an associate of Paul Hill, who murdered Dr. Bayard Britton and volunteer escort James Barrett outside the Ladies Center Clinic in Pensacola in 1994. Burt was videotaped helping Paul Hill identify Dr. Britton outside the clinic in the weeks before Hill shot and killed Dr. Britton and his clinic escort.
In the past, Our Father’s House had the support of even national organizations; for example, Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, wrote a letter praising both Burt and Our Father’s House.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .