Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
A federal judge has lifted a 20-year-old injunction that regulated pro-life protests at an abortion business in Indiana and as part of the order has canceled a demand that the advocates for life pay the abortionists’ legal fees that had ballooned to $350,000 with interest.
The ruling comes from U.S. District Judge William C. Lee in the case of the Fort Wayne Women’s Health Organization operated by abortionist Ulrich Klopfer and others at 827 Webster Street in Fort Wayne.
The abortionist and several women who never were identified went to court against Northeast Indiana Rescue, Bryan J. Brown and others seeking an order to keep sidewalk counselors away from women entering the abortion business. At the time, a cross-injunction was issued that kept pro-life activists away from the front door of the business and required the business not to interfere with legal protest activities.
The case also produced an order that the pro-life defendants pay $61,000 in legal fees to the abortion business, a payment that never was made and grew to $350,000 with interest over the years.
That debt now has been eliminated.
“It is not every day that a $350,000 debt merely vanishes. Not to mention a debt to one’s mortal enemies,” wrote Brown in a statement on the Archangel Institute website.
“Imagine MLK, Jr. owing such a debt to the KKK, or Anna Frank’s family being ordered to pay such a debt to the Nazi Party of Amsterdam. Just like that.”
The institute now rents the location the abortion business formerly held. The building owner brought a request to the court – along with Brown’s request – to dispense with the 20-year-old injunction since the conflict that generated it no longer existed.
The judge agreed, also noting Brown’s complaint that since he was named as a defendant it was hindering him from obtaining employment as an attorney.
“This was clearly not an intended result when the court entered the permanent injunction,” the court ruling said.
“I give God the glory, it was a legal miracle. Thank you William C. Lee for playing Abraham Lincoln and setting this economic captive free,” Brown wrote.
Brown, who also announced he would be taking a break from the “very arduous journey” of pro-life activism to focus on his family, said it would take a brief period of time to “weigh out what is next and attempt to determine what our Heavenly Father would have me do to support my lovely wife and five beautiful children.”
But he warned the war is far from over.
“Christendom has been under relentless attack for centuries now, and is threatened with collapse in our lifetime. This battle is winner takes all,” he wrote.
The judge wrote in his decision that when the case was brought, “the issue of abortion was every bit as controversial and divisive then as it is today.”
A series of protests had resulted in a number of arrests at the location, and the abortionists wanted to keep pro-life protesters away. The result, according to the judge, was an injunction “setting forth certain specific parameters which the defendants, or anyone else wishing to conduct a protest near the Webster Street property, had to abide by. … The preliminary injunction also placed restrictions on opposing protests and activities conducted by the [abortionists].”
But since the controversy at that location is moot, the judge vacated the injunction as well as the court’s order awarding fees and costs to the abortionists.
“This was a victory that was too long in coming,” said Troy Newman of “Operation Rescue. “We rejoice that these people are now free from this crippling judgment that was an unjust punishment for trying to peacefully save the lives of innocent babies from abortion.”
Also cleared in the action was Pastor Wendell Brane, who had been named along with Brown in the original citation.
Brown’s court record also put on his back a bull’s-eye for pro-abortion radicals in Kansas where he served for several years as an assistant attorney general. In an affidavit, he reported he was targeted by a political commercial when a Democrat activist and the Democrat Party in the state spent $200,000 to buy television ads that focused on his numerous arrests for pro-life activities.
He described, too, the “blacklisting” he was subjected to in the state because of his pro-life activities.
Flora, during a gubernatorial debate at the Kansas State Fair involving then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, attacked Newman. The court case resulted in Flora apologizing to Newman and paying undisclosed compensation.
Newman and another pro-life activist in 2006 had dressed themselves in cockroach costumes and appeared at the gubernatorial debate to draw attention to Sebelius’ support of abortion and opposition to even the most minimal clinic health and safety standards at Kansas abortion businesses.
Operation Rescue, one of the leading pro-life Christian activist groups in the country, at that point had bought and closed an abortion clinic in Wichita. When it took over the building, infestations of cockroaches, mold and other dangerous and filthy conditions were discovered.
However, Sebelius, as governor, adamantly opposed requiring such businesses to be inspected and follow basic health standards and rules.
In the attack, Flora, a Democrat, grabbed Newman’s mask and yanked at it, inflicting a bloody cut on Newman’s head.
Flora then was convicted of battery and was sentenced to a 30-day suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay fines and costs totaling $228. His sentence also included court-required anger management classes, Operation Rescue said.