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Obama Admin Lawsuit Harassing Pro-Lifer Finally Settled

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 1/9/13 7:13 PM

National

In a legal victory, the Obama administration has been stopped from targeting a peaceful pro-life advocate helping provide abortion alternatives to women heading to an abortion facility in Louisville, Kentucky.

In January 2010, David Hamilton was peacefully and lawfully handing literature to women entering EMW Surgical Center, an abortion clinic. He was not only interfered with illegally by abortion facility volunteers who locked arms to block him from talking to women, but he faced legal action from the Obama administration.

The Department of Justice prosecuted him for allegedly assaulting a volunteer who actually assaulted him. The “escort” attempted to forcibly block Hamilton to prevent him from sharing literature with women entering the clinic that explained other options to them.

Over a year after the date of the incident, rather than serving the clinic volunteer with a legal complaint for the illegal conduct, the Department of Justice served Hamilton with a legal complaint, alleging that he violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. The Life Legal Defense Foundation, a pro-life legal group, stepped in to provide Hamilton with legal support in court. The Obama administration lawsuit sought a $15,000 penalty and $5,000 in compensatory damages.

Today, the Life Legal Defense Foundation, a pro-life legal group, informed LifeNews that, three years after being unjustly arrested and then unjustly sued by the federal government, pro-life sidewalk counselor David Hamilton has ultimately won. The case has been settled and dismissed without an injunction and without a fine.

“Metro Police appropriately dismissed the local criminal case but almost a year later, the Attorney General of the United States filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. This lawsuit was part of the campaign of intimidation brought by the Obama administration,” asserted attorney Vince Heuser. “The attorney general has filed numerous lawsuits against pro-lifers for trivial problems that should have been handled locally. Many of them have been lost already or settled for nominal sums. It has been a colossal waste of taxpayer money and an abuse of the rights of pro-lifers across the nation.”

Heuser continued: “These lawsuits were reminiscent of a scene in the movie The Scarlet and the Black, where the Nazi commandant extracted a ransom from the Jews by his unjust threats. Like other pro-lifers around the country, this young man with a new wife and child was facing the prospect of a trial in U.S. District Court, defending himself against the federal government funded by taxpayer dollars used to bully him. His only offense was trying to encourage women seeking abortions to consider alternatives.”

Pro-abortion protester Jane Fitts, who has no association with the abortion clinic, will receive the nominal settlement, a payment that she herself testified in a deposition was unwarranted.

“She testified that someone she could not identify pushed her or pulled on her shoulder and that later she had a bruise on her elbow. Hamilton denied being the person involved. Hamilton admitted brushing past someone, likely not Fitts, in another incident moments later. Regardless, Fitts experienced no significant pain and received no medical treatment and denied that she was receiving anything out of the lawsuit,” explained Heuser.

“David had to make a difficult decision, but the settlement once again thwarts the plan of the Obama administration to get a injunction against pro-lifers. Faced with the an expensive trial and travel back from Texas where he now resides, Hamilton decided that paying some nominal amount just to settle the case was appropriate. The case is dismissed and cannot be brought back and there is no injunction and no fine,” LLDF said.

Hamilton thanked Life Legal Defense Foundation and attorneys Michael Hirsh and Vince Heuser for their work in defending the lawsuit.

The Obama administration’s lawsuit came months after it partnered with leading pro-abortion organizations to host an FBI training seminar partnered with leading pro-abortion organizations with the main focus of declaring as “violent” the free speech activities of pro-life Americans.

On August 25, 2010, the FBI and the United States Department of Justice co-sponsored a training seminar with Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation and the Feminist Majority Foundation.

When information about the seminar, which took place at FBI headquarters in Portland, Oregon, reached pro-life advocates, they asked officials for permission to attend and were granted access to the seminar and the training materials.

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FBI and Obama administration officials provided participants with an 84-page document entitled “Resource Guide: Violence Against Reproductive Health Care Providers” that contained print copies of Power Point presentations prepared by the Justice Department and an analysis of alleged pro-life “violence” prepared by the pro-abortion groups.

The so-called violence perpetrated by pro-life advocates mostly contained examples of constitutionally-protected free speech, including activities such as praying, providing women outside abortion centers with alternatives information, and peaceful protesting or picketing.

The EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville is the abortion business that was caught on videotape covering up a potential case of sexual abuse of a minor.

LifeNews Note: The case has been settled. LifeNews initially reported a judge dismissed the case. We have corrected this and regret the error.