The abortionists at Planned Parenthood have been under fire in recent months after a series of undercover videos in 2015 revealed their baby-body-parts trade, catching one prominent executive saying she wanted enough compensation for the pieces of unborn babies to buy an exotic sports car.
The massive negative public reaction has led to efforts to withdraw tax funding for the business and congressional investigations with some highly uncomplimentary conclusions.
Now the organization’s branch in Illinois is facing a lawsuit for making “false accusations” against pro-life activists who had opposed its expansion of a mega-abortion clinic there. Planned Parenthood is accused of defamation for bringing up long-discredited claims made originally in a lawsuit 30 years ago that was thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court.
A recent court ruling granted permission for an amended complaint to be filed against Planned Parenthood of Illinois, executive Steve Trombley and the Gemini Office Development company that built the clinic.
The ruling in Kane County Circuit Court in Geneva, Illinois, also dismissed some claims but left others standing and set a schedule for further filings.
The case was filed after Planned Parenthood sent letters and ran advertisements criticizing pro-life activists who opposed its new clinic in Aurora, Illinois.
The Thomas More Society filed the defamation suit when Planned Parenthood “tried to tie the Pro-Life Action League to violence in four separate public communications.”
“These included full-page ads in area newspapers, Daily Herald and Aurora Beacon News, a letter to city of Aurora aldermen and a related press release,” the legal team explained.
The abortion business accused the pro-life team of a “well documented history of advocating violence.”
One of the full-page ads even included a photograph of a bombed-out abortion clinic in Michigan.
And the ads cited that “after a six-week trial in 1998 … jury in Chicago unanimously found that the Pro-Life Action League Network orchestrated 121 crimes involving acts of threats of force or violence against women’s health facilities that offered abortion services.”
Planned Parenthood wrote: “These crimes proven at trial included: Beating a post-operative ovarian surgery patient over the head with a sign, knocking her unconscious and causing her to bleed from the sutures in her abdomen. [and] Seizing a clinic administrator by the throat, choking and bruising her; and slamming a clinic staff member and volunteer against the stairs (sending them to a hospital and causing permanent injuries).”
However, the verdict was turned into a legal nullity – essentially canceled – by multiple rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court.
WND reported in 2014 when the case, which spanned 28 years, ended with a favorable award of expenses for the pro-life activists. A court awarded them $64,000 in costs and fees from the National Organization for Women.
The Thomas More Society in Chicago had fought on behalf of Joseph Scheidler, Andrew Scholberg, Timothy Murphy and the Pro-Life Action League for nearly three decades.
Seven of those years were spent in arguing over the fees decision. In 2007, a final judgment was issued after three trips to the U.S. Supreme Court.
While NOW and a number of the nation’s leading abortion providers alleged the pro-lifers engaged in a criminal conspiracy to halt the abortion industry, U.S. District Judge David Coar ruled that was not so.
WND reported a year earlier that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for the third time in the case. In that 8-0 ruling, the high court said federal extortion and racketeering laws could not be used to ban the protests.
In 2003, WND reported NOW lost its second round in the Supreme Court in a decisive 8-1 ruling. The feminist group charged that protests organized by Scheidler’s Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League amounted to extortion under RICO.
A lawyer who has worked on the case, Tom Brejcha of Chicago’s Thomas More Society and Pro-Life Law Center, said then the dismissal of the case was significant.
“The plaintiffs designed this case as a huge dragnet and they cast it far and wide as if to encompass the entire pro-life activist movement in America,” he said at the time. “The law of ‘res judicata’ or ‘claim preclusion’ varies from state to state, but all pro-life activists who face lawsuits by their local abortion providers may have a defense based on today’s final judgment.
“The judgment bars ‘all claims that might have been brought in this case’ on behalf of all class member abortion clinics. This is not just federal RICO or antitrust claims, but also state and local trespass or harassment claims of all sorts,” he said. “As NOW and the other plaintiffs have met a final defeat, the tables are turned against them.”
Planned Parenthood’s claims its ads were based on the lower court’s conclusions that were rejected on appeal.
“No one should have to suffer the kind of vicious and false accusations of violence that the Pro-Life Action League has suffered,” said Thomas More Society Special Counsel Peter Breen of the new case. “This ruling means that the Pro-Life Action League will finally have the opportunity to clear its name in court against Planned Parenthood’s lies. The League twice beat Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry before the U.S. Supreme Court in a related case, and we look forward to mounting a vigorous prosecution of these defamation claims.”
The defamation complaint charges that Trombley and Planned Parenthood were trying to depict their critics as “violent criminals.”
“Trombley’s letter was false and misleading in numerous respects,” the complaint said. “None of the plaintiffs – not one of them! – has any ‘well-documented history of violence and criminal activity.'”
The national abortion organization has been tied up in recent months with the reaction to the revealing undercover videos.
An Planned Parenthood-linked Texas prosecutor had to dismiss charges that had been brought against the investigators, and there have been calls for a special prosecutor to go back and look at claims against Planned Parenthood.
In the first undercover video released by CMP, Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on crushing babies.
“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact,” she said.
See the first video:
In the second video, Planned Parenthood’s Mary Gatter said, “I want a Lamborghini.”
See her comments:
In the fifth, Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood’s Houston clinic discusses “intact fetal cadavers”:
The seventh video has the testimony of a Planned Parenthood worker who tapped an aborted infant’s heart and saw it start beating.
And No. 8 has Cate Dyer, CEO of Stem Express, admitting Planned Parenthood sells fully intact aborted babies.