|IN THE NATION|
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September/October, 1999 Volume XIII Number 8
Canadian jailed for handing out rosesVancouver, British Columbia, CANADA – In June, British Columbia’s newest prisoner of conscience was given seven months in jail for handing out roses. Mary Wagner was sentenced to stay in jail until the end of this century in provincial court on June 16 by Madame Justice Arnold. The 25-year-old Wagner, a graduate of the University of Victoria, had already served more than 30 days in the maximum security BC Women’s Correctional Center awaiting trial.
Wagner admitted her actions in handing out flowers to people coming and going at a Vancouver abortion facility. In sentencing Wagner, the judge wanted her to promise to stay out of any abortion location “Bubble Zones.” Wagner said she cannot make such a promise because doing so would be against her conscience. She says she knows that children die in abortion clinics every day and she feels compelled to speak for those “smallest members of the human race.”
Campaign Life Coalition BC president John Hof called Wagner a political prisoner.
“This government created these Bubble Zones to silence all opposition to their baby killing agenda.” said Hof. “This dedicated young lady, who should be held up as an example for youth today, is now in prison because she will not be silenced about the truth on abortion. A child dies every time and women bear the burden for life.”
Hof urged Pro-life people around BC and across Canada to call or write the Attorney General to express their outrage with a justice system and a law that would allow such a travesty to occur. “Anyone with even the smallest amount of common sense knows that handing out flowers is a sign of love for the person receiving them. Who could possibly feel threatened?” asked Hof. “We also call on all people of faith to remember Mary Wagner in their prayers as she sacrifices her freedom for the sake of her smallest brethren.”
Abortion clinics’ owner bows out after 10-year war with protestersMelbourne, FL – One of the est-known figures in the battle over abortion rights in Florida has sold her controversial clinics, saying she has been worn down by more than a decade of costly tactics by anti-abortion militants.
Patricia Baird Windle, whose battle with activists led to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1994 limiting the rights of protesters outside abortion clinics, said she sold her facility Melbourne and West Palm Beach for an undisclosed sum. The buyer is an Orlando and Daytona Beach abortion provider, Tammy Sobieski.
Sobieski, who has been an abortion provider since 1988, is a longtime friend and colleague of Windle’s who plans to expand abortion services at both clinics, emphasizing “family planning” services and more support groups.
“It has taken the antis 10 years to force me out of the field as a provider,” said Windle, 64, who adds that she has suffered from failing health. “But I am not out of the work.” She plans to write and lecture on abortion rights issues, she said.
The sidewalk outside her Melbourne clinic was ground zero for training by Operation Rescue National for three years in the early and mid-1990s. Demonstrations at the clinic drew people from all over the country and Canada.
They were effective. Abortions dropped from just under 2,000 in 1989 to just over 1,000 last year, Windle said.
Protests at the Melbourne facility also led to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Madsen decision in 1994 that said women seeking abortions or any medical services have a right not to be approached by protesters. The court also upheld the use of “buffer zones” keeping protesters away from patients.
Anti-abortion advocates were happy with the news that Windle had sold her clinics.
“This is a victory for God. It is not anything we did, it is what God did,” said Meredith Raney of Melbourne, spokesman for Christians For Life, whose members regularly offer sidewalk counseling outside the facility. “I pray that it is a sign of things to come -- more clinics closing.”
“Doctor suffered hardship” defense for illegal abortionTAIWAN – Years of “dreadful hardship” imposed on a mainland doctor during the Cultural Revolution should be taken into account when she is sentenced for performing an illegal abortion on a 15-year-old girl, a judge heard on August 17.
Defense counsel John Hagon said proof of Lai Pui-heung’s good character lay in her remarkable medical career on the mainland despite 11 years on a farming commune from 1966.
The 52-year-old, who was convicted of having performed the illegal operation on April 5 last year, was a highly qualified doctor on the mainland, the lawyer told Deputy Judge Louis Tong Po-sun in the Court of First Instance.
“For this lady to have gone through what she has done in her life is itself of tremendous credit to her,” Hagon said.
Lai still maintains her innocence and says that a Dr Cheung - who has never been found - performed the operation while she served as a nurse.
But the girl, now 16, identified Lai as the one responsible, and said Lai warned her to keep the procedure a secret as it was illegal.
The case came to light a month later when the girl was admitted to hospital with abdominal pain.
The judge adjourned sentencing until August 23. n
Top secret “terminations”Alberta, CANADA – The controversy earlier this year surrounding “eugenic terminations” (Life Advocate May/June 1999) provoked a Candian Broadcast Corporation radio interviewer to question Capital Health Region spokesman Donna Angus on the subject recently.
Angus insisted that Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital performs only “a handful” of late-term abortions each year. These procedures, she emphasized, are not performed unless babies have “lethal abnormalities” that would prevent them from surviving after birth. Such abnormalities would include “horrific heart defects, no kidneys, organs that have grown outside the body [or] a child with no brain.”
In the same interview Angus admitted that in her hospital, Down’s syndrome babies are also aborted.
“If it would be another kind of anomaly such as Down’s or spina bifida or some other conditions . . . beyond the 20-week period,” she told her interviewer, “then we would offer [patients] the choice of sending them to the United States if they choose to abort.”
Asked why such mothers would be sent to the U.S., Angus replied, “Well, that’s just the place of choice where they would go. After 20 weeks the service offered in the United States is not something we offer here.”
“Ms. Angus’ interview was painful to listen to,” says Joanne Hatton, president of Alberta Pro-Life. “Can we pat ourselves on the back for not doing these abortions here when we pay to send patients to the States?”
Hatton points out that Down’s syndrome is not a lethal defect.
“How many Albertans,” she asked, “are comfortable paying for this form of ‘genetic cleansing?’ And how many are we sending across the border?”
The Eyes-Wide-Shut Investigation: Calgary Police abandon their Foothills abortion probe without talking to any witnessesSpecial by Marnie Ko
Calgary, Alberta, CANADA -- Four nurses from Calgary’s Foothills Hospital who were interviewed by Alberta Report magazine earlier this year said they were being forced by their employer, the Calgary Regional Health Authority, to assist with a procedure they found morally repugnant (Life Advocate May/June 1999). The procedure, known as “genetic termination,” involves the induced, late-term birth of babies diagnosed with genetic anomalies that are presumed to be serious. Three of the nurses, all of whom insisted on anonymity for fear of losing their jobs and licenses, described six specific incidents where such babies were born alive and subsequently died.
Calgary Reform MP Jason Kenney registered a formal complaint with the Calgary Police Chief Christine Silverberg, alleging that the “genetic terminations” may be a violation of the Criminal Code.
Last week, police announced that their investigation was over, and that they had found no evidence of criminal misconduct. They said they had investigated only one case of “genetic termination” and interviewed no nurses. They also said they had been rebuffed in their attempts to interview the head of obstetrics, Ian Lange. Lange, in turn, insisted he had never been approached by police.
Outraged pro-life lobbyists have been joined by at least one Calgary MP in suggesting the police investigation was half-hearted and incomplete, likely because of political interference higher up. It is not clear if the one genetic termination investigated by police is the same as the most detailed Alborta Report one described by nurses. In that instance, a birth was induced five weeks before its due date. The baby, born alive, was held and rocked by staff, but no attempt was made to save it by administering nutritional fluids and oxygen. (Nurses report that withholding positive treatment is standard CRHA procedure in “genetic terminations.”) The Baby finally expired 12 hours after birth.
One of the investigating police officers, Constable Colin Acheson, said in a July 14 interview with the Canadian magazine that he thought that the 12-hour survivor case might be the same one he was investigating.
“It sounds like it is,” he said.
The press release announcing the completion of the investigation stated that “Evidence in the possession of investigators at this time indicates that the infant was provided proper palliative care.”
Whether “palliative care” rather than life-saving intervention was the appropriate response is something neither the nurses nor the CRHA have ever clearly stated. The CHRA always pleads “patient privacy” with respect to individual cases, and the nurses object to the whole business of killing babies because they may be handicapped. However, they were not asked any questions by police, so the police know only what was put in one file, and made no effort to verify its contents. The nurses say they had hoped that police would interview all the staff on the unit, which would have ensured their anonymity.
Even more questions attend the failure of the police to interview Lange.
When the allegations of possible criminal misconduct were first raised, he denied that genetic terminations were occurring at Foothills. Later, he admitted that “induction of labor for infants with a lethal abnormality” occurs, adding that when such babies are occasionally born alive, they “may” be given oxygen, in addition to fluids, cuddling, and even “fluids in the vein.” In a statement to the Calgary Herald on July 29, supplied by CRHA spokesman Roman Cooney, Lange said, “We said we’d co-operate [with police] in any way we can. However, police never asked us for an interview.”
Conststable Acheson, on three occasions, complained to the magazine that Lange only claimed to be cooperative at news conferences. In May, the officer said he was “pissed off” with the obstetrician.
“This case got dumped on us,” Const. Acheson griped. “A day after watching arrogant Dr. Ian Lange at news conferences, talking about how he’d cooperate so fully with any investigation, that he welcomed an investigation, I called Lange up, spoke to his secretary. Asked for an appointment. The secretary said, yes, I’ll set one up and call you back. Five minutes later, a criminal lawyer called. Ian Lange’s defence attorney. ‘What do you want with my client?’ he asked.”
Alberta Pro-Life president Joanne Hatton wants to know who has “ever heard of a criminal investigation in which witnesses aren’t contacted and questioned especially when the police have a list of the employees?” Edmonton lawyer Mark McCourt is convinced that failing to interview nurses at the Foothills hospital, and neglecting to investigate all possible charges under the Criminal Code, is motivated by political reasons, not legal ones.
Court denies new trial for abortionist in fatal abortionSan Francisco, CA – A health clinic owner convicted of murdering a patient during an illegal abortion and caught stuffing the woman’s body in the trunk of a car was denied a new trial.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday there was ample evidence for the jury’s conclusion that clinic owner Alicia Hanna showed a “wanton disregard for life,” as required for a murder conviction in an unintentional killing.
Hanna, who is not a doctor, was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison for second-degree murder in the death of Angela Nieto Sanchez, 27, in January 1993.
According to trial testimony, Hanna injected Sanchez with a drug in preparation for an abortion and Sanchez had a seizure. Hanna prevented an assistant from making a 911 call for help. After she died, Hanna told two of Sanchez children, who were waiting outside, that their mother had left without them, witnesses said. After leaving and then returning to the clinic, the children found Hanna trying to stuff Sanchez’s body into the trunk of a car.
Hanna was also convicted of attempting to perform an illegal abortion on Sanchez and performing illegal abortions on two other women.
The federal appeals court said the jury was entitled to believe a coworker’s testimony, disputed by Hanna, that Hanna prevented the coworker from calling 911. A doctor at the clinic also testified that he had told Hanna to call 911 when life-threatening problems arose, the court said.
Hanna’s administering the injection without medical training and her failure to stock the office with life-saving supplies were also evidence of a disregard for life, the court said.
The panel consisted of Judges Dorothy Nelson, Stephen Reinhardt and Stephen Trott.
Richard Dangler, Hanna’s lawyer, said he would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. He said the crime should have been no more than involuntary manslaughter, a negligent rather than wantonly reckless killing.
Hanna is “serving life in prison because she went into a panic in a very difficult situation,” Dangler said. “In Orange County, the fact that she was Hispanic had something to do with the verdict.”
But Deputy Attorney General Frederick Millar said the ruling was justified. “The facts are egregious, gut-wrenching,” he said.
Euthanasia enthusaist claims “right” of death for childrenAdelaide, AUSTRALIA – Giving children as young as 12 the “right to die” was reasonable, euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke said.
Commenting on moves by the Netherlands to legalise euthanasia for children and adults, Nitschke told reporters children also suffered from terminal illness.
“I think the Dutch government has taken a very courageous step and recognised the reality that children suffer very debilitating, serious, suffering diseases,” he said. “We simply can’t say terminal illness starts at the age of 18.”
Nitschke said he had not seen details of the legislation proposed in the Netherlands but reaffirmed his view that Australia should move down a similar track.
He said he could see no question in principle against including young children in any new provisions.
The euthanasia activist’s comments came as he began the second day of “euthanasia clinics” in Adelaide during which he expected to see about 10 terminally-ill patients to answer their questions about ending their lives.
After Adelaide he intended to hold “clinics” interstate including in Sydney and Melbourne.
The opening prompted a warning from the South Australian government that his actions were being watched carefully.
Premier John Olsen said Nitschke would be required to operate within the state laws, under which people are banned from aiding, abetting or counseling suicide.
“The Attorney General (Trevor Griffin) has indicated he will be following closely the establishment of these “clinics” to ensure the laws of this state are indeed upheld,” Olsen said.
But the Australian Democrats came to Nitschke’s defence saying that the information he was providing could be found in many books and over the Internet.
“If our laws are such that it is an offence to simply tell a patient which drugs will allow a peaceful death, then the law is unjust and should be changed,” said Democrat MP Sandra Kanck.
Protester wins round in sign war with cityMenlo Park, CA – For three years, Ross Foti has tangled with city officials in Menlo Park who find his sign-wielding brand of anti-abortion protest objectionable. In August, a federal judge handed the Belmont man, known for his large, graphic anti-abortion signs, a considerable victory by ordering Menlo Park to pay him $53,000 for the legal fees he incurred while fighting an ordinance the city was later forced to revise.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is still considering Foti’s request for an injunction that would allow him to defy a Menlo Park ordinance that bans signs larger than three square feet until the court rules on the ordinance.
Foti’s suit against Menlo Park dates to 1996, when the city passed an ordinance he thought targeted him and another regular at the protests. The ordinance regulated signs on cars and forced pickets to keep moving while demonstrating. Foti challenged the law in court, and last year the court ruled that some parts of the ordinance were illegal and called for revisions.
UK may imprison “potential criminals”London, ENGLAND – Potentially dangerous “psychopaths” could be locked away in Britain for good without ever committing a crime, under government proposals published recently.Ministers said they intended to change the mental health laws to allow the indefinite detention of people who pose a risk to the public.
They would either be held in prison or hospital, or in new purpose-built specialist units. There are an estimated 300 to 600 “dangerous severely personality disordered” adults now in the community who could be detained in this way.
Mom Opposes Graphic Abortion SignsBellevue, NE – A Bellevuearea resident is protesting the graphic nature of signs that anti-abortion protesters are using in front of a Mission Avenue clinic in which abortions are performed. She plans to ask the City Council to address the issue.
“I have no problems with the fact that they are protesting, but the graphic nature of the pictures is something that I feel we need to protect our children from being unwillingly subjected to,” said Gayle Milos in a letter to Bellevue Mayor Jerry Ryan.
Larry Donlan, a leader of the Rescue the Heartland group, which organizes the protests in Bellevue, said the signs only depict what is going on inside the clinic.
“If these pictures are so horrible that she can’t show them to her children, then it (abortion) should be too horrible to be going on in the first place,” Donlan said. “If people weren’t tolerating child-killing, then we wouldn’t have to show the pictures.”
Milos stressed that she is not taking a stand on abortion. She said she objects to the signs depicting aborted babies that protesters display in front of the mill of abortionist LeRoy Carhart.
So far, she said, she has been able to divert her children’s attention from the signs when they drive by - telling them, for example, that a plane is taking off from nearby Offutt Air Force Base. But she said her niece saw the signs and “thought they were selling dead babies there.”
The request raises an issue that the Lincoln City Council and Governor Mike Johanns, then Lincoln’s mayor, tackled last year (Life Advocate November/December 1998). The council in that city approved a picketing ordinance over Johanns’ veto after members of Westminster Presbyterian Church objected to images that protesters were using in front of the church attended by a doctor who performs abortions.
A judge issued an injunction against that ordinance, which banned signs within 50 feet of any church, calling it too broad. The city has appealed.
Milos said she has consulted a Lincoln council member and the Governor’s Office and has researched state obscenity laws.
“Part of the state law says you cannot display obscene material, which is what they are doing,” she said. “It has nothing to do with my view on abortion whatsoever. My only concern is the pictures.”
The signs in Bellevue were part of a controversy earlier this year when a man grabbed and ripped one of them, and then threatened a protester. The man served two days in jail.
Nurses quit rather than agree to dispense “morning after” pillRiverside, CA – Five nurses quit their jobs at a county-run health because they didn’t want to be required to give patients the morning after pill, saying that issuing such medication goes against their religious beliefs.
A sixth nurse who also refused to dispense the medication expects to be transferred out of the Riverside Neighborhood Health Clinic.
The morning after pill is essentially a large dose of regular birth control pills that can be used up to 72 hours after unprotected sex to stop a pregnancy. Officials claim it stops ovulation but ad that it also prevents fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterine wall.
The nurses, who say they are devout born-again Christians, have compromised in the past, spenting years working in family planning, telling women about contraception and pregnancy. And even though they felt uncomfortable about it, they told women about the availability of abortions elsewhere.
The breaking point came when they were told they would have to dispense the morning after pill if the facilities other medical personnel were unavailable. Refusing to hand out the medication is a violation of federal laws that require them to advise patients of all of their options.
“I have someone to answer to, and it’s not the county,” said nurse Michelle Diaz, who is expecting to be reassigned.
“I don’t want to participate in the abortion process,” said Diaz, who has two children and is four months pregnant.
The county asked nurses to sign a list of job expectations after a rise in the number of women requesting the morning after pill and the dissent from the nurses, said Ken Cohen, director of the county Health Services Agency.
“What we didn’t want to see was having our staff impose their view, from a religious perspective,” Cohen said. “I think they have to put the patients’ needs ahead of theirs.”
Most abortion foes oppose the morning after pill but because three days is too soon to tell if a woman is pregnant, a few anti-abortion groups haven’t taken a stand on it.
Nurse Nikki Torres, however, believes it amounts to abortion. “I know this is not what the Lord wanted me to do,” she said.
RICO turns on the LeftPhiladelphia, PA – The protesters line up in front of the store window, blocking the view of the fur coats inside.
Brett Wyker, a thin 21-year-old with a mop of dark brown hair, begins a chant that echoes up and down Walnut Street, a well-traveled Center City thoroughfare crowded with shoppers on this warm Saturday afternoon.
“Andres Ferber!” Wyker yells.
“Animal murderer!” eight protesters reply.
“No more cages, no more traps!” Wyker continues.
“No more fur on Ferber’s racks!” comes the response.
Suddenly, the shouts are drowned out by Frank Sinatra. From a second-floor window above the showroom of Jacques Ferber Furs, a loudspeaker starts blaring a Sinatra tune. The protesters’ mouths are moving, but it seems no sound is coming out.
Such confrontations are nothing new for animal-rights activists fond of in-your-face tactics. But the frustrated furrier’s response to this persistent band of protesters is testing new legal ground.
Ferber, a family business and Philadelphia mainstay, has been selling fur coats for 120 years. For the past four years, it has been the target of more or less weekly protests.
Wyker says he and his group, the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade, are merely exercising their First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly.
But in a lawsuit filed in May, the store and its co-owner, Andres Ferber, accuse Wyker and three other protesters of a lot more than mouthing off.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, cites a 1970 federal law to claim that the defendants have engaged in racketeering by committing repeated acts of vandalism in an effort to drive the retailer out of business.
The Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act originally was aimed at the mob. But its civil provisions, which call for triple damages, have been used by tenants to sue their landlords and by divorcing wives to sue their husbands.
RICO, as the act is known, also has been used against political protesters.
In a major victory for abortion-rights groups, a federal jury in Chicago last year found that three anti-abortion leaders used threats and violence in a nationwide extortion scheme designed to shut down abortion facilities. The verdict paved the way for triple-damage claims by as many as 1,000 abortion clinics across the country.
Ferber attorney Bruce Rodger, taking a cue from that case and others, hopes to use RICO to label the Ferber protesters as racketeers.
“What’s at issue, plain and simple, is conduct which goes far beyond an exercise of rights and goes into criminal conduct. Criminal conduct is not protected by the First Amendment,” Rodger said.
According to the Ferber lawsuit, the activists threw red paint on the doorway and store facade, glued the door shut, etched a large plate glass window with acid, and put up defamatory stickers and posters outside the store.
On April 24, people wearing black hoods smashed the display window, the lawsuit says. Four days later, someone defaced the new window with acid.
Citing the cost of repairs and increased security, the store is asking for more than $50,000 in damages on each of four counts.
Andres Ferber emerges from the showroom, video camera in hand. Without a word, he rests the camera on his shoulder and begins taping the protesters, who continue chanting and handing leaflets to passersby.
Sinatra is singing “Luck Be a Lady.”
Soon, the police show up.
A plainclothes officer from the city’s civil-affairs unit tells Wyker his group has to move away from the store’s window.
Wyker immediately gets in the burly cop’s face, saying their First Amendment rights are being violated. Besides, Wyker says, they’re standing an entire foot away from the window.
Wyker demands the officer’s name. The officer refuses. The protesters can demonstrate all they want, he explains, but the store window has been vandalized several times. They have to move.
Wyker isn’t listening. He raises his voice: “Can I have your name and badge number, sir?”
The officer is clearly getting frustrated. Uniformed police begin showing up.
“You’re not going to cause a confrontation here,” the officer says.
In court papers filed July 28, Wyker and the other protesters deny they took part in any of the acts of vandalism described in the lawsuit. They blame the Animal Liberation Front, a radical underground group that sets animals loose from fur farms and research labs and has claimed responsibility for numerous fires and other acts of vandalism.
The ALF, in fact, has said it is responsible for the damage at Jacques Ferber Furs, David Barbarash, a spokesman for the shadowy group, said in a telephone interview from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Wyker said Ferber’s strategy is not to go after the true perpetrators, but to take out the leadership of the animal-rights movement.
John P. Goodwin, 26, founder and president of the national Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade, said Ferber’s lawsuit has the backing of the fur industry and is just one of several lawsuits being planned by the Fur Information Council of America, an industry trade group.
He cited a fur industry newsletter, Sandy Parker Reports, that said the fur council was trying to raise at least $150,000 to sue violators of the Hobbs Act, which prohibits interfering with commerce by robbery, extortion or threats of physical violence.
Bangladesh woman flogged to deathBANGLADESH – A woman died after an Islamic cleric ordered her buried to the waist in mud and flogged 101 times with a bamboo cane for having premarital sex and inducing an abortion, police have reported.
Police said they only learned about the case two days earlier, nearly a week after the death, because the cleric had threatened the woman’s family with reprisals if they went to the authorities.
Bedi Begum, 18, the daughter of a poor farmer, had induced an abortion with herbal medicines she received from her lover in Batsail, a remote village in northeastern Sylhet district. The fate of the 25-year-old man was not immediately known.
The cleric called Bedi’s act un-Islamic and ordered her before an unauthorized court of village elders. Although Bangladesh is a predominantly Muslim country, Islamic clerics have no legal authority to conduct trials and the country is governed by liberal laws.
Bedi, still weak and bleeding from the abortion, was buried up to her waist in the mud floor of her thatched hut and caned by three villagers who took turns, the area’s police chief, Abdullah Baki, said.
The cleric prevented Bedi’s family from taking the girl to a hospital and she died the next day.
The alleged perpetrators fled the village, Baki said.
A similar death occurred in Sylhet in 1993 when Islamic clerics ordered a woman to be flogged 101 times for having illicit sex with a man. The woman committed suicide, unable to endure the pain and humiliation.
FBI keeping illegal files on anti-abortion activists, charges Judicial WatchWashington, D.C. – A tip-off by an anonymous informer to Judicial Watch has led the legal watchdog to believe that both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice have been keeping a computer database on pro-life leaders.
Concerned about the existence of such a database, Larry Klayman, the chairman and general counsel of Judicial Watch, filed a Freedom of Information Act request at the end of March with both the FBI and Justice Department. The FOIA request had asked for all documents and records relating to VAAPCON, the database in question that is maintained by the FBI. Because no documents have been turned over to Judicial Watch, the group filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Justice Department and the FBI.
At issue in the most recent lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch is the possible violation of the pro-lifers’ First Amendment rights of freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, peaceable assembly, and the right to petition government for a redress of grievances. The documents in the database may also show a violation of other relevant statutes and rights, Judicial Watch contends.
Judicial Watch believes abortion clinic violence may be the excuse for the creation of such a database. Although some employees within the FBI, according to Judicial Watch, reportedly objected to its creation, the upper levels of the Justice Department ordered they be made anyway.
In the initial FOIA request back in March, Judicial Watch specifically asked for any databases containing biographical or other information on pro-life leaders and organizations including, but not limited to, Dr. Wanda Franz, Randall Terry, Judith Brown, the American Life League and the National Right to Life Committee.
The FBI later responded to Judicial Watch’s request at the beginning of April saying that an agency search of the automated indices to the Central Records System revealed records pertaining to Judicial Watch’s request regarding the VAAPCON Database and the American Life League. In fact, the FBI, in the letter, admitted the search revealed many documents that would be of interest to Judicial Watch.
“For your information, the material responsive to your request is too voluminous to be processed by the resources of this office; therefore, we have referred your request to the FOIPA Section (Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Section) at FBI Headquarters for processing,” the letter stated.
In the same letter, the FBI stated no records were found regarding the National Right to Life Committee. As for any records of Dr. Wanda Franz, Randall Terry or Judith Brown, the FBI notified Judicial Watch that either a proof of death or a privacy waiver would have to be submitted from the individuals in question before any search was done on them.
Later in April, the Department of Justice also replied to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request. However, in the letter, the agency granted itself an indefinite extension allowing the Department of Justice to provide the requested documents to Judicial Watch at any time.
On June 1, Judicial Watch filed an administrative appeal of the FBI and Justice Department for the agencies’ refusal to respond to the FOIA request.
The Justice Department, though, turned down the administrative appeal on June 18.
According to Judicial Watch, neither the FBI nor the Justice Department are permitted to grant indefinite extensions of time to respond to FOIA requests.
The Freedom of Information Act only allows for a maximum 10-day extension to the 20-day deadline for producing requested documents.
It is because of this clear violation of time in responding to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request that the organization has filed suit against the FBI and Justice Department.
Regarding this most recent case against the FBI and Justice Department, Klayman said, “The Clinton administration has used and continues to use the FBI as a political weapon against its perceived adversaries. We’ve seen this in spades in our $90 million Filegate lawsuit. Now, we understand that the Clinton Administration is keeping a FBI database on prominent Americans and other citizens who happen to be active in the pro-life movement and who believe it is wrong to kill unborn children.”
NH mill hit by fire “served” teenagersGreenland, NH – Tucked between the Police and Fire departments and a cemetery on a quiet, tree-lined street, the Feminist Health Center, just 15 miles from the Massachusetts border, had gained a reputation as a place where Bay State teens could seek abortions without having to tell their parents.
But the clinic’s rural calm was broken late one Sunday night by a fire that damaged the facility. Federal officials said the fire was most likely set.
If confirmed as arson, the fire at the Feminist Health Center of Portsmouth would be the eighth such incident at a US abortion mill this year and the first in New England since abortion advocates began keeping track in 1994. It would also be the first act of extreme force – a bombing, murder, or arson – at a New England abortion mill since John C. Salvi III killed two people and wounded five others in a December 1994 shooting spree at two Brookline, Massachusetts, facilities.
A team of federal and local law enforcement and fire investigators have determined that an accelerant had been used to start the fire. They said the undisclosed evidence will be sent to labs of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Rockville, Maryland, for testing.
“There is obviously a strong possibility that it was foul play,” said Greenland Police Chief Scot Blanchard.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agent David L. Brown said two passersby spotted the fire at 9:44 p.m. on a Sunday. The Police and Fire departments, which share a building a few hundred feet from the facility, were on the scene within minutes and quickly doused the blaze.
The fire apparently started behind the building under the wooden ramp for the handicapped and caused about $12,000 damage, according to an insurance adjuster. He said the inside of the building was damaged from smoke and water; outside, the ramp and wood siding were charred, and walls and windows were smashed by firefighters battling the flames.
The clinic, just off Interstate 95 outside Portsmouth, performs about 800 abortions a year in a converted 150-year-old farmhouse.
Under Massachusetts state law, children under 18 must have parental permission or be granted a court exception to get an abortion in Massachusetts, but parental permission is not required in New Hampshire.
The 19-year-old facility, which serves 6,000 patients a year, relocated from downtown Portsmouth in 1985 when antiabortion protesters hindered people from getting to nearby businesses.
Oh, Canada! Oh, China! Part II: Judge forces abortion for psychiatric patientQuebec City, Quebec, CANADA – A 37-year-old patient at a psychiatric hospital in Quebec City has undergone a forced abortion and tubal ligation.
Mr. Justice Paul Vezina of the Quebec Superior Court gave the hospital permission to perform the operations, ruling it was “in the woman’s best interest.” The woman has been a ward of the province since 1994. At that time she refused to take her medication for paranoid schizophrenia and was deemed unable to take care of herself.
She’s been pregnant twice in the last year. The first time she miscarried.
The hospital’s lawyer argues it would have been more stressful for her to give birth and then have her baby taken away, rather than undergo the abortion and tubal ligation.
“I guess not only does the Canadian ‘bill of rights’ mean as little as the Chinese one,” said one anti-abortionist, “but they have also followed the Chinese lead on forced abortion.”
Girlfriend asked to die, homicide suspect tells policeAllegheny County, PA – Rhonda Jo Reller was upset about having had an abortion and wanted to join her baby in heaven, her fiance said.
So he assisted her by shooting her twice in the head and then tried to shoot himself, the fiance, Michael Oravec, told police. In his confession, Oravec, 26, of Robinson, said Reller lay on the couch early May 2 and placed her engagement ring on top of his hand before he aimed a gun at her head and fired twice, killing her.
He told police he then stuck the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger repeatedly, but it wouldn’t fire. He said after he loaded the gun again and it still didn’t fire, he cut his wrists.
On the basis of Oravec’s confession, Deputy Coroner Timothy G. Uhrich held him for trial on a charge of homicide after a coroner’s inquest.
Kerry Alexander, one of Reller’s closest friends, said yesterday that Reller hadn’t told her she was pregnant or that she had had an abortion. Alexander said she could not imagine Reller wanting to die.
Oravec told police that he and Reller had been at Kangaroos Outback Cafe in Robinson the night of May 1. When they got home, they talked about the abortion that Oravec said Reller had had three weeks earlier, according to his confession.
He said they agreed that, in retrospect, it had been a bad idea and decided that since the baby was with God, they should be, too.
So Oravec wrote a note on his computer saying they had gone to God, and obtained a gun, Allegheny County homicide Detective Lee Yingling testified. Reller, 32, a native of Washington state, was found lying dead on a couch May 3 in the apartment they shared at Chestnut Ridge. Police found Oravec on the floor next to the couch, conscious but bleeding from what police believe were self-inflicted cuts to his neck and wrists.
Oravec later gave a taped confession from his bed at Mercy Hospital, where he was on a suicide watch. He couldn’t sign a confession because his wrists were heavily bandaged.
Police have said they are skeptical of his version of events.
Oravec worked as a technical support specialist at TEGG Corp., a company in the Strip District that provides electrical services. Reller worked at a fleet leasing company.The two met at a training session in January. They were engaged in March and had planned to wed in December.
Defendant leads prayer as jurors selected in abortion caseDAYTON, OH -- As jurors were being selected in the trial of anti-abortion protesters accused of blocking access to abortion clinics in 1997, one defendant led supporters in prayer outside the courtroom.
David Mehaffie of Dayton prayed with about 25 supporters Thursday as prosecutors and defense attorneys questioned potential jurors for nine hours before selecting the jury of four women and four men. Prosecutors were expected to begin presenting their case this morning.
The trial stems from a March 1998 lawsuit filed by the Justice Department against Dallas-based Operation Rescue and six protesters. The protests occurred in July 1997 at abortion clinics in Cincinnati, Dayton and the Dayton suburb of Kettering.
The lawsuit alleges the activities violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act enacted in 1994. The government has prosecuted dozens of anti-abortion protesters under the law.
According to the lawsuit, about 40 people organized by Operation Rescue blocked the entrance to the Cincinnati clinic for about an hour, dispersing only after police arrived in large numbers.
The lawsuit said more than 100 demonstrators blocked the entrance to the Kettering clinic July 15 and more than 200 obstructed the entrance to the Dayton clinic July 16 and 18.
Operation Rescue officials have said the demonstrators were trying to give women information on abortion and did not prevent anyone from going into the clinics.
The lawsuit asks the court to prohibit Operation Rescue from blocking or impeding access to the clinics.
The government can ask the court to impose fines of as much as $10,000 on any defendant who is convicted. It also can ask that convicted defendants be ordered to pay as much as $5,000 in damages to any affected clinic.
Last week, Judge Walter Rice rejected a request by the government to rule in its favor instead of allowing a jury to determine whether the protesters broke the law. Rice made his ruling after reviewing videotapes of the protests and other evidence.
Rice said there was no evidence that anyone prevented or tried to prevent anyone from entering or leaving one of the clinics.
Four arrested in attack on pregnant womanARKANSAS, AK — Shawana Pace pleaded for the life of her unborn daughter, due any day, when three masked men burst into her boyfriend’s Little Rock home last week, police said.
“F*** you,” one of the men said, according to police documents. “Your baby is dying tonight.”
As two of the men took turns beating and kicking Pace, her boyfriend Erik Bullock and her 5-year-old son Stephen were in another room guarded by the third man. After taking $200 from Bullock, the three left.
Pace was taken to a hospital, where her unborn child -- whom she named Heaven -- died as a result of the beating.
Thursday afternoon, police arrested Bullock on capital murder and first-degree battery charges, alleging that the 29-year-old hired three brothers to kill Pace’s baby for $400.
The brothers -- Lonnie Beulah, 15; Derrick Witherspoon, 17; and Eric Beulah, 20, all of Pine Bluff -- were arrested on charges of capital murder in Heaven’s death and first-degree battery. Lonnie Beulah and Witherspoon were charged as adults.
The arrests are the first under a new law, allowing Arkansas prosecutors to charge defendants with murder if a Unborn infant in the 12th week of pregnancy or beyond dies as the result of a violent crime.
Arkansas is one of at least 26 states with similar laws.
“The law came just in the nick of time,” said Melody Piazza, deputy prosecuting attorney. “If we didn’t have this statute at this time, we would be questioning whether or not the [baby] is a person.”
“The fact that the actual suspect’s words indicate an intent to harm the [baby] makes it a fairly easy call,” Piazza said. “They were there simply to kill.”
A classmate of Pace’s at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock said she knew Bullock had talked of not wanting the baby, but he later made statements that led her to believe that he had come to terms with his impending fatherhood.
“I knew that there were possible problems, and he had stated at one point and time that he was not ready to be a father,” Erin Calvin said Thursday. “But the last time I talked to her, which was two or three weeks ago, he was fine.”
“I saw him too, and he said: “I’m going to be a daddy,” and he was running around telling everybody,” Calvin said. “She is a wonderful person. She is so sweet and nice. She is not one to deserve this at all.”
Calvin said she often talked with Shawana, whom Calvin refers to as “Sha,” about Pace’s son, who is the same age as Calvin’s younger brother.
“We would run into each other and compare notes about how funny they were,” Calvin said. “And we had a bet on this baby. At the time she didn’t know what it was.”
“I told her it was a little girl,” Calvin said. “I told her that if it was a little girl, I’d buy her an outfit from Baby Gap, and if it was a boy, I’d buy one from Gymboree.”
Calvin said that in Pace’s fifth month of pregnancy, she was hospitalized when she went into premature labor.
“They put her on medication,” Calvin said. “He [Bullock] came to the hospital then.”
Shortly after the Aug. 26 beating, as Pace recuperated in her hospital room, she told detectives that Bullock had tried to persuade her to abort her child.
“Mr. Bullock told her several times that he did not want children and was urging her to have an abortion,” detective Charles Weaver wrote in an affidavit in support of Bullock’s arrest warrant.
Pace told detectives that when she, Bullock and her son Stephen walked into Bullock’s home, they were met by three masked men. One had a gun. After the assault, Pace told Bullock to call 911, but Bullock told her that his telephone was not working.
Pace went next door, where she called 911 to report the assault.
When detectives interviewed Bullock, they found two women and a man asleep in his home. After questioning them, detectives learned that Bullock had been seen the night of the assault with Eric Beulah, Witherspoon and another teen they believed to be Beulah’s younger brother.
The women told detectives that they heard the men talking to Bullock “about beating someone up and putting a gun in their mouth,” according to the affidavit.
Then, the women saw Bullock reach under the couch, pull out a wad of bills and give it to the men, police said.
Detectives questioned Eric Beulah, who worked at Bullock’s business, First Class Cellular Inc. at 1900 S. University Avenue.
During the initial interview, Eric Beulah told detectives that Bullock had asked if he would be interested in “helping him beat up his girlfriend so she would lose the baby,” police said.
Eric Beulah told police he refused Bullock’s offer.
Wednesday, homicide detectives drove to Pine Bluff, where they picked up the three brothers and brought them to Little Rock for questioning.
All three reportedly gave taped statements in which they admitted their roles in the fake robbery at Bullock’s home at 9212 Monique Drive.
“They reportedly waited in the residence of Mr. Bullock until he came home,” the affidavit said.
Witherspoon told police he dragged Pace into the house and began slapping her while his brother Lonnie dragged the boy into a back room.
“Both L. Beulah and Mr. Bullock then came to the front and began to strike Ms. Pace,” the affidavit said.
Witherspoon told police that Bullock began kicking Pace in the stomach. After the assault, the three reportedly went to Bullock’s business to wait for him.
Lonnie Beulah reportedly told officers that the gun used in the assault had been left there by Bullock for the brothers to use. The 15-year-old reportedly told detectives that he never received any money for his role in the attack.
Eric Beulah reportedly said that during the assault, he got scared and went outside.
Police subpoenaed Bullock’s cellular telephone records, which reportedly showed that while Pace was next door calling police after the assault, he placed a cellular call to his business.
All day Thursday, detectives searched for Bullock, and at 2 p.m., they arrested him at his business.
Earlier in the day, the manager of the business, declined to comment on Eric Beulah’s work history.
“I think it would be in our best interest up here to not comment at all,” said the man, who declined to give his name.
On Aug. 10, Pace and Bullock reported being robbed at Pace’s home by two mask-wearing women. Police are investigating whether that home-intrusion robbery was a failed attack on Pace.
“We don’t know that for sure that they’re related, but we’re looking at it,” detective Lt. Clyde Steelman said. “We’re going to consider that when we’re interviewing him.”
School officials in Pine Bluff said Lonnie Beulah transferred to Dollarway Junior High School over the summer but had only attended four days of classes there. He transferred from Mabelvale Junior High in Little Rock.
Witherspoon was arrested in 1997 on an aggravated robbery charge that was later transferred to juvenile court, and he was a suspect in alleged knife threats against classmates at Southwest Junior High School.
The four are being held without bail in the Pulaski County jail and will be arraigned this morning in Little Rock Municipal Court.
Federal court strikes down state’s ban on late term abortionsProvidence, R.I. A federal judge on Monday struck down Rhode Island’s two-year old ban on a late term abortion procedure.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge Ronald R. Lagueux said the law is unconstitutional. The ruling was expected. Prior to Monday’s ruling, Lagueux had issued a temporary ban that prevented authorities from enforcing the law.
At issue was the state’s attempt to ban partial birth abortions, in which the baby is almost entirely extracted from the womb before its skull is collapsed.
Both sides agreed that no such abortion has ever taken place in Rhode Island.
In his opinion, which the state will appeal, Lagueux said the law was in need of ‘’constitutional pruning’’ when first written. He said language added by the state Legislature in 1998 did nothing to make the law comply with his reading of the Constitution.
‘’No amount of government promises can salvage this Act,’’ he said. ‘’This case does not decide whether defendants may proscribe the (partial birth abortion procedure) because this Act bans far more and, not coincidentally, far more than the Constitution allows.
Ruling on case which sought to save lives by outlawing a brutal procedure, Lagueux stated, ‘’The Supreme Court instructs that a law this unrestrained and pernicious to the Constitution must be torn out by the roots.’’
The judge cited four reasons for finding the state law unconstitutional.
First, he said the law is ‘’vague’’ and could be interpreted to cover another abortion procedure which is legal.
The judge stated the law is also unconstitutional because it doesn’t make an exception for the health of the mother. But an allowance in line with the 1973 Doe v. Bolton ruling would keep “health” inclusive of emotional, social, and financial well being.
He also argued that the law does not provide a proper exception for case’s when the mother’s life is in jeopardy and argued that its civil remedies ‘’place an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion.’’
Talcott Camp, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney who represents the plaintiffs, said the state law creates a consent requirement allowing the father of the Unborn child and the woman’s parents to sue a doctor for performing a medical procedure in violation of this law.
Thoiugh the entire ruling concerns the partial birth procedure, Camp misrepresented the ban to media by saying that it’s not clear exactly what procedure the law bans.
The ACLU has lost much of its support base garnered in the 1950s and 60s over the issue of Free Speech. Eastablishment lawyers like Camp have become associated with the abortion lobby to maintain funding for the organization.
Camp said Monday’s decision continued an ‘’overwhelming’’ nationwide trend of similar laws struck down.
Partial birth abortion bans have been passed in 27 other states, according to the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy in New York.
Nineteen of those bans have been challenged in court, with 13 permanently blocked. Three have been temporarily prohibited. Two have been limited by a court settlement or by an order of the state attorney general. In nine states, the bans are in full effect. The ACLU has had a significant role in undermining the popular vote on the issue of these bans.
Joe Larisa, the governor’s executive counsel, said the case ‘’could have gone either way’’ based on previous court rulings.
He said the issue is not likely to be resolved until the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a particular case. He added Rhode Island’s law could be that case. The state plans to file its appeal with the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.
Governor Lincoln Almond Monday noted the state’s law was enacted by an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly. He added he believes the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold the state Legislature’s right to ban partial birth abortions.
Rhode Island’s law used language drawn from a bill passed by Congress, reviewed by the US Supreme Court, but vetoed by Democratic President Clinton.
CIA constructs citizen databaseWASHINGTON — A New Hampshire company began planning in 1997 to create a national identity database for the federal government, newly disclosed documents show.
Image Data’s US$1.5 million contract with the US Secret Service to begin digitizing existing driver’s license and other personal data was widely reported early this year. But documents unearthed by the Electronic Privacy Info. Center reveal the details and scope of the project.
An Image Data presentation to the government — marked confidential — stressed that pilot projects in three states would “ensure the viability of deploying such service throughout the United States,” according to about 300 pages of files EPIC obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
In a February 1999 report, Image Data CEO Robert Houvener ridiculed the idea that there were any legitimate privacy issues at stake, including those raised by civil libertarians when the project was first disclosed.
“Many other newspapers, television programs, magazines also did news stories on Image Data LLC and its system [that] in some cases... focused on the ‘Privacy’ concerns and presented an inaccurate presentation,” Houvener wrote.
But privacy groups aren’t wavering.
“We think that their proposal for a national database of photographs runs directly contrary to the types of privacy safeguards that should be developed,” says EPIC director Marc Rotenberg, who met with Houvener last week. “This is not a database that people can easily opt out of. You have to give up your photograph when you get a driver’s license.”
Houvener, who says he has been a “victim of identity fraud,” says his national photo file will be targeted at “identity criminals” that he estimates cost businesses billions of dollars a year.
US legislators who funded the project believed the database would be used to stop illegal immigrants and terrorists.
“The TrueID technology has widespread potential to reduce crime in the credit and checking fields, in airports to reduce the chances of terrorism, and in immigration and naturalization to verify proper identity,” said a September 1997 letter from eight members of Congress to Image Data.
Image Data’s “True ID” technology currently feeds photos into its database in one of two ways. The company has contracts with state motor vehicle departments that supply the analog negatives or the digital images on magnetic tape. It also persuades shoppers to scan their IDs into the database by inserting them into devices at specially equipped stores.
After news reports appeared focusing on the project, the governors of Colorado and Florida halted the transfer of images to Image Data, and South Carolina filed suit asking for the return of millions of images already in the company’s possession.
How did Image Data feel about South Carolina’s actions? “The PR, legal, and legislative situation in the pilot State will continue to be evaluated and dealt with,” a January 1999 company report says.
Image Data has publicly downplayed the Secret Service’s involvement, but the documents show that the agency decided which states would be part of the initial pilot project and directed the timing of the effort.
According to one of Image Data’s monthly reports sent to Special Agent Cary Rosoff of the Secret Service’s financial crimes division, company representatives were negotiating a contract with Missouri officials, too. “Missouri [is] in the final stages of implementing a digital driver license system. Most issues are resolved, and we expect closure within 4-6 weeks,” the document says.
The Secret Service deleted some information from the documents before releasing them, and only a few pages prepared by the government are included. But it seems that discussions of the project began in early 1997. The government signed an agreement with Image Data in late 1997 and the contract took effect on 15 December of that year.
Soon after, the company began to work closely with Telecheck, a subsidiary of First Data Corporation. By mid-June 1998, the computer interface between Image Data and Telecheck was complete and images could readily be exchanged.
One frequent problem: Scanning millions of existing 35 mm photos into the database. “The digitizing machine is behind schedule.... There has also been some slippage due to the custom machining of the components for the scanner itself,” the documents reported about Colorado DMV photos.
Another headache for Image Data executives was Florida’s policy of allowing drivers to renew their licenses twice by mail. That means people are less likely to come in and be photographed by digital cameras, which can automatically forward the photo to Image Data.
“For a state like Florida, [up] to 45 million negatives would have to be digitized to get an online image of all current licenses,” a November 1998 report says.
The documents show how Image Data planned to sell the idea not just to the federal government, but also to state officials.
“This program will demonstrate a highly effective way of ... increasing tax revenue. The positive impact of this demonstration cannot be ignored. Once government agencies and businesses see the effectiveness of this technology and implement it for their own programs, the positive impact to state and federal budgets will be in the billions of dollars per year,” says one Image Data proposal that is marked “proprietary.”
Genocide Awareness Project uses campuses as forum to address topicCLEVELAND— Students wandering across the rainy plaza that separates Rhodes Tower from the student center on the Cleveland State University campus got an eyeful as school began. In a corner of the plaza was a display of several graphic photographs of aborted babies, victims of the Holocaust and victims of lynchings.
The display of photographs was put on by Genocide Awareness Project, an effort of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.
“We wanted to be in the most central place on campus and we want to make it as difficult as possible to not see these,” said Gregg Cunningham, the executive director of the Los Angeles based-center.
Because the issue of abortion is a “settled issue” on college campus, with the vast majority of students professing to be pro-choice, Cunningham said, the point of the exhibition of photographs was “to unsettle thinking.”
Student Michael Wiltse, a 41-year-old junior from Kirtland, said he was upset that he had to look at the photographs on his way to lunch.
Wiltse said he and his wife would never have an abortion but he described himself as pro-choice.
“People have a choice — they can look away,” Cunningham said.
During his conversation with Wiltse, he said he hoped to reach students through the photographs in a public location.
“This is the only forum open to us,” said Cunningham.
As the two men spoke, a woman quickly walked by and added her views.
“I had an abortion,” she said. “It’s a sin. But it’s forgivable.”
Among the posters on display were one headlined “reproductive choice” with a photograph of the hand of an aborted baby next to a dime.
There was a religious choice poster that showed a photograph of Holocaust victims. Another poster that showed a photograph of an African-American lynching victim.
On the doors of the student center was this warning: “Warning. Graphic images on display. Viewer discretion advised.”
Bill Soellner, 21, of Cleveland Heights, said he thought it was “sick” that anyone would have taken photographs of aborted fetuses and also it is sick that the people who put on the display would try to convince people to be against abortion when they don’t even know them.
Cunningham said the display has been on 17 campuses around the country this year.
He said most people have never seen abortion photographs.
And he said the images have changed opinions.
At the University of Tennessee last year, he said, eight pregnant students who were planning on getting abortions changed their minds after seeing the photographs.
Cunningham, a 52-year-old former special assistant to the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, said his organization spends $8,000 to $10,000 per campus visit. Funding is from private sources, he said.
The critical question, he said, is not about when life begins. The important question he wants people to ask is “when the rights of personhood will be conferred to the unborn child.” He said he believes those rights should be given at the moment of fertilization.
Massillon native Jen Paul, a 20-year-old Cleveland State junior, saw the pictures and was upset.
“It’s gross,” she said.
She said she was against abortion in the first place.
“I didn’t know what they looked like,” she said.
Cunningham was upset with Cleveland State because he said he felt green-and-gold paper covering three sets of windows along the student center was a deliberate move by the school to prevent people from seeing the posters from inside the student center.
Diane Dillard, dean of student life at CSU, said the paper covering some of the windows at the student center was not aimed at the pro-life exhibit but was part of a welcome-back display to CSU students. The display will be on the windows through the end of September.
Cunningham said because of the window coverings, his group would be back on CSU with an exhibit on the Constitution and freedom of speech.
Point of view