by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 11/8/12 7:26 PM
An attorney for a pro-life sidewalk counselor who gives women information about abortion alternatives outside abortion clinics today shared some inside information about the Obama administration’s campaign against pro-life people.
Pro-life attorney Rebecca Messall told CBN News talked about one case in particular, but said the Obama administration is attempting to put together cases on pro-life advocates even before allegedly finding they violated any laws.
Messall, in addition to conducting her private law practice, has been CEO of the National Lawyers Association, a pro-life legal group, for the past two years and also served as board chair for Denver Catholic Charities.
“What we learned later on was that there was a pre-commitment by the Justice Department in Washington in the Civil Rights Division to bring these cases even before they knew of the cases,” she said.
In one of the cases she handled, U.S. District Judge Philip A. Brimmer ruled that the Attorney General would not be reasonably likely to prove at trial that longtime Denver area pro-life activist Ken Scott physically obstructed employees of the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains abortion facility in Denver. Scott was one of several targeted by the Obama Justice Department in its attempt to silence a pro-life activist who, for years, has been helping women outside abortion centers find positive alternatives.
The Attorney General asserted ten separate violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act against Scott, seeking a $10,000 fine against him and an injunction to keep him 25 feet away from the facility. And although the administration isn’t winning in court, the FACE Act is being used against other pro-lifers.
“It’s dangerous in so many ways,” Messall said. “And it’s been used here and across the country to try to intimidate and punish people for exercising their First Amendment rights. It’s just a source of mischief by the federal government.”
The CBN story says the Obama-Planned Parenthood ties are enabling the government to file more cases:
At taxpayer expense, the Justice Department put five federal prosecutors on the Scott case. Jo Scott settled last year but it wasn’t that easy for Ken. He faced 10 charges of obstructing the entrance to the clinic’s parking lot.
“They could have asked for $10,000 for each incident, and they alleged 10 incidents over two years,” Messall said.
Ken Scott acknowledged it can be intimidating.
“They’re going to sue you and take your income away from you or your possessions,” he said. “A lot of people are frightened of that.”
Jo Scott points to the political power of Planned Parenthood’s leader, Cecile Richards.
“They’re trying to shut down free speech at abortion clinics, but then Cecile Richards is one of the most frequent visitors to the White House, so you know she’s having an impact,” Scott said.
The Justice Department brought 10 claims against Ken Scott, but the judge said not one of them had any merit.
A Florida federal judge recently threw out a case and accused the Justice Department of plotting with the abortion clinic targeted by the protestor.