A lawsuit against Planned Parenthood and its Chicago executive will be filed today, seeking $7.5 million for publicly accusing peaceful pro-life activists of having a record of advocating violence.
The lawsuit is being prepared by the Thomas More Society of Chicago, whose chief counsel, Tom Brejcha, told WND the action is scheduled to be filed today in Kane County on behalf of pro-life protesters who are opposing the opening of a mega-clinic abortion facility in suburban Aurora.
On her blog, WND columnist Jill Stanek reveals that a number of Aurora residents who took part in a 40-day prayer vigil over Planned Parenthood’s plans to open the mega-clinic will be listed as plaintiffs.
Stanek reports that the lawsuit comes in response to a Sept. 4 letter by Chicago Planned Parenthood executive Steve Trombley to aldermen in Aurora, a letter he also sent to the Aurora Beacon newspaper.
In that document, he said “those who oppose” the mega-clinic have a “well-documented history of advocating violence against both persons and property.”
The letter was an attempt to persuade city officials to grant a permanent certificate of occupancy for the mega-clinic, despite the fact Planned Parenthood deceived city officials during the process of obtaining zoning and building permits.
“Does it truly come as a surprise, then, that as we complied with all legal and public disclosure requirements, we simultaneously sought to keep this private while the construction was proceeding because the zealots who have been opposing our new facility have a well-documented history of violence and criminal activity?” the letter said.
“That’s an outright smear,” Brejcha told WND.
He said such claims apparently stemmed from an old court case against pro-life activist Joseph Scheidler and the Pro-Life Action League, who were targeted earlier in a lawsuit by the National Organization for Women on behalf of abortion clinics nationwide.
But any accusation in that case later was turned into a “legal nullity,” Brejcha said, by the Supreme Court’s decisions to reject the claims on votes of 8-1, and 8-0.
As WND reported, Brejcha earlier demanded a retraction from Planned Parenthood and Trombley. Instead Trombley repeated them.
“He stood up 5 feet away from me in the lobby of the federal building and repeated these outrageous lies,” Brejcha said.
Trombley had been citing conclusions from midway through the NOW case brought against Joseph Scheidler and others. It essentially accused pro-lifers of using organization crime tactics to attack abortion clinics.
But those are the decisions that the U.S. Supreme Court earlier rejected – multiple times. Brejcha said Trombley followed up by making the same claims in a full page ad in the newspaper.
Further, many of the people in Aurora who are opposed to the mega-clinic weren’t even directly involved in the earlier case, and have had no court decisions, convictions or judgments, Brejcha said.
Trombley’s letter went to all 12 Aurora aldermen and Mayor Tom Weisner.
After making the general accusation, it continued: “We think you will understand the urgency of our concerns when you consider the following facts about the Pro-Life Action League and its leader, Joe Scheidler.”
Trombley’s letter then listed the following:
- “Scheidler (along with a handful of other anti-abortion leaders) formed PLAN – the Pro Life Action Network. Scheidler called PLAN the ‘pro-life mafia’ and proclaimed ‘a year of pain and fear’ for anyone seeking or providing abortion.
- “After a six-week trial in 1998, a 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. 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; 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) and destroying medications and equipment. Joe Scheidler personally praised the individuals who carried out some of these misdeeds, even taking credit for them….”
“Oh my, if that doesn’t scream libel lawsuit, I don’t know what does,” Stanek wrote on her blog. “Here, Trombley unmistakably accused Scheidler and PLAL of commandeering violence.”
WND reported in 2006 that the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled for the third time in favor of pro-life activists who were sued by NOW over their aggressive demonstrations at abortion clinics under the federal RICO organized crime statute.
In 2003, WND reported NOW had 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.
Brejcha was not slow to act when the Planned Parenthood letter surfaced, either. Within hours,
he had generated a reply:
“We are writing you, on behalf of our clients, to demand a prompt and public retraction of false, libelous and malicious statements in your letter, dated September 4, 2007, to the mayor and aldermen of the City of Aurora (‘letter’), and also in recent newspaper ads,” Brejcha wrote.
“Specifically, you falsely stated in your letter that those ‘opposing [your] new facility [who] are headquartered in Aurora … have a well-documented history of advocating violence against both persons and property as well as other related criminal activity’ (letter, p. 1). You go on to assert, also falsely, that ‘the zealots who have been opposing our new facility have a well-documented history of violence and criminal activity’ (id., p. 3),” the letter continued.
“Your many assertions about the Pro-Life Action League (‘the League’) and Joseph Scheidler, its director, are red herrings as they have nothing to do with the Aurora protests. But they too are false and misleading. This you well know, as your Planned Parenthood clinics were part of NOW v. Scheidler, a national class action suit, and you are bound by its final result in favor of the League and Scheidler. The verdict your letter cites is a legal nullity, as it was reversed by the United States Supreme Court, not just once but twice. In 2003, the verdict was overturned, 8-1. Then in 2006, the Justices again ruled for the League and Scheidler 8-0, ‘unanimously’ – as you describe the verdict (letter, p. 1) while omitting any mention of its reversal. Final judgment was just entered for the League and Scheidler, in compliance with the mandate of the U.S. Supreme Court, in federal district court here in Chicago.”
“Should you not retract your false and libelous assertions against Eric Scheidler, or the Aurora protesters, or Fox Valley Families promptly by follow up letter, or by newspaper advertisement, or by public testimony at Aurora’s next council meeting next Tuesday evening, we shall seek legal redress,” he wrote.
“Moreover, we shall press Aurora officials to seek redress for your false and misleading statements during the permit process when, as you were quoted in the ‘Chicago Tribune,’ you took pains to keep your actual plans ‘secret’ for as long as possible. As former Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis insisted, ‘the best disinfectant is sunlight.’ Those who try to confuse, deceive or mislead public officials must be held accountable,” he said.
“Trombley … unmistakably knows NOW lost that case – with an unprecedented three U.S. Supreme Court rulings against it,” noted Stanek. “He has to know because Planned Parenthood was part of that case, since it was brought on behalf of all U.S. abortion clinics.”
A federal judge hearing Planned Parenthood’s request for a court order demanding the issuance of the city certificate of occupancy last week ruled that the mega-clinic would remain closed while the investigation continues. One lawyer in Aurora told WND under established precedent in Illinois, Planned Parenthood’s deception means the permits obtained using that false information should be cancelled permanently.
Stunning new expose of Planned Parenthood: “Struggling for Life: How our Tax Dollars and Twisted Science Target the Unborn”