Antiabortion activists were found guilty today of inciting violence by posting on the Net a list of physicians names that reads like a “wanted” poster.
Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the American Coalition of Life Activists and Advocates for Life Ministries in the U.S. District Court in Oregon, in an effort to deter sites like the Nuremberg Files, which lists contact information for more than 200 doctors and workers from abortion clinics around the country and calls for the “baby butchers” to be “brought to justice.”
The more than 12 defendants in the case were ordered to pay $100 million in damages to abortion clinics and doctors. They had argued that they have a free speech right to publish details about the doctors, but after a three-week trial, an eight-person jury found that such sites were a “true threat” to physicians who perform abortions, according to the Planned Parenthood Columbia/Willamette (PPCW) in Portland.
“While the threat of anti-choice terrorism is not over, this verdict means that these extremists cannot hide behind the First Amendment when they advocate killing abortion providers,” Lois Backus, executive director of PPCW, said in a statement.
The case surrounded not just Web sites, but the distribution of paper “wanted” posters that include the names of doctors that provide abortions, and in some cases their home addresses as well. The Nuremberg Files urges people to send “photos or videotapes of the abortionist, their car, their house, friends, and anything else of interest, as many and as recent as possible.”
In some instances, the Nuremberg Files lists the names of the doctors’ children and spouses. A handful of names on the list are crossed out to mark a “fatality,” among them New York physician Dr. Barnett Slepian, who was killed in his kitchen by a sniper bullet in October.
Well, I wish I could post up the big facepalm, but I’ve gotten in trouble for it before, and will not be doing it again.