by Steven Ertelt
November 3, 2005
Houston, TX (LifeNews.com) — A Texas man has been convicted of driving his fan into a downtown Houston Planned Parenthood abortion center. Frank L. Bird, 64, drove his van into the facility in January 2003 and was convicted under a federal law meant to limit attacks against abortion businesses.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner on Tuesday ruled that Bird violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which prohibits the use of threats, force or intimidation against those who perform abortions or want to obtain one.
Another federal judge threw out the case against Bird and found the FACE law unconstitutional but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that ruling in March and sent the case back to the federal district court.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt dismissed the charge in August 2003 because he said Congress didn’t have the authority to regulate local "non-economic criminal conduct." He said state laws were sufficient.
Court documents say Bird told police he rammed into the clinic because "they are killing babies in there."
"The defendant committed this act because the Planned Parenthood facility provides abortions," according to the documents.
"After crashing through the doors of Planned Parenthood, the defendant made a statement to a deputy constable that he made sure there was no one walking in or around the doors before he drove into the building and that if he had seen someone at the doors, he would have driven around the block and come back," they said of Bird.
Bird previous served a year in prison for throwing a bottle at an abortion practitioner in 1995, according to an AP report. This new crime will cost him a $250,000 fine and net him three years in jail.
"We are glad that he was found guilty,” Peter Durkin, chief executive for Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas, told AP. "It was clearly a case of domestic terrorism.”
Pro-life groups say Bird was never involved in their organizations and they condemn his use of violence as a means of ending the travesty of abortion.