A major corporation that contracted with Planned Parenthood to dispose of baby bodies from the abortion industry giant has given up in its fight against a grassroots organization that launched a campaign to unveil the company’s actions.
The Thomas More Society on Friday announced that a lawsuit brought against the Ohio-based pro-life advocacy group Created Equal and its national director, Mark Harrington, over their speech was being dropped.
The legal team confirmed Stericycle Inc. and its CEO, Charles Alutto, moved to dismiss the complaint it had brought against the citizens group.
The Thomas More Society originally had claimed defamation, false light invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress after the citizens group launched a protest campaign in Lake Forest, Bannockburn and Lincolnshire, Illinois.
The campaign urged Stericycle’s CEO, board members and the public to cease handling the disposal of “medical waste” for Planned Parenthood affiliates around the United States.
Two months ago, Judge Margarete A. Marcouiller of the 19th Judicial Circuit Court in Illinois had dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice – except she allowed the emotional distress count to be continued if the plaintiffs filed an amended claim with factual allegations.
“Apparently, the reputed Fortune 500 multinational waste hauling company, headquartered in Lake Forest, and its CEO, himself a Lake Forest resident, chose rather to drop this last part of their lawsuit,” the legal team said.
The lawyers explained, “Created Equal’s campaign included such aggressive tactics as door-to-door distribution of graphic abortion flyers in Lake Forest and its environs which depicted Alutto’s and directors’ photos, juxtaposed with gruesome images of aborted babies’ remains, and slogans such as ‘Killers among us’ and ‘Stericycle enables killing children.'”
The campaign also used postcards and mobile billboards.
Harrington said: “The dismissal of the claims against Created Equal are not just a huge victory for free speech but for also equal protection, in that huge multinational companies cannot be insulated against criticism for their corporate behavior. Stericycle now needs to dump Planned Parenthood as a client and get back to delivering legitimate waste services to authentic health care providers, not for these merchants of death.
“We are pleased to have successfully defended the vital First Amendment rights that were at stake in this case,” said Tom Brejcha, the president of the center.
The disposal company was the object of the publicity campaign because it was seen as the “weak link” that enabled Planned Parenthhood to dispose of baby bodies.
The campaign was launched after the state of Ohio identified a Planned Parenthood business, whose medical waste was handled by Stericycle, as the source of fetal remains illegally dumped at a landfill.
WND reported earlier in the year when the medical-waste handling company demanded in court that its critics be silenced.
The judge noted then that the company has been in the process of discontinuing doing business with customers who refuse to certify that they will comply with Stericycle’s ban on the disposal of fetuses as medical waste.
“After Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine issued a report in December of 2015 that identified a Planned Parenthood location in Ohio that used only Stericycle to dispose of its aborted fetuses, Stericycle renewed its efforts to ensure that its customers had certified that they would not use Stericycle for that purpose.
“In total, as of the date of the filing of the amended complaint, Stericycle has ended business relationships with over 400 customers who did not return the requested certification, including the Planned Parenthood location identified by Attorney General DeWine,” the judge said.