Illinois Pro-Life Advocates Settle Lawsuit Over Botched Abortion Photo

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 1, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Pro-Life Advocates Settle Lawsuit Over Botched Abortion Photo Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 1, 2006

Edwardsville, IL ( — Pro-life advocates Daniel and Angela Michael of Illinois did what the mainstream media seldom does. When they saw a woman brought out of a local abortion business bleeding and in a wheelchair after a botched abortion, they snapped a picture and put it on the Internet to expose the problems abortions cause for women.

Instead of receiving accolades for bringing the injustice to light, they were slapped with a lawsuit.

The Michaels reached a settlement on Wednesday with the unnamed woman. Under the terms of the deal, the pro-life couple doesn’t have to pay the woman damages, but they are prohibited from talking about her or the botched abortion.

The case made headlines five years ago when the picture of the woman, called Jane Doe in court records, surfaced on the Internet. Though her name was never used and her face is obscured to protect her identity, she sued.

However, Doe’s attorney Mark Levy, said she filed the lawsuit because the Michael’s also posted copies of her medical records online, which could have made it possible for someone to establish her identity.

Angela Michael told the Belleville News Democrat that the couple never intended to harm the woman, but to help expose what happened to her and to help other women avoid the same fate.

"This isn’t about Jane Doe. It never was," she said. "That was the whole thing behind this, to show how unsafe abortion is."

Levy told the newspaper that Doe is happy with the settlement.

"We’ve got an agreement for the entry of a permanent injunction, and it was in the best interest of my client," he said. "She just wanted to be left alone."

Doe had the abortion at the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois, which has come under fire for both botched abortions and other problems as well as performing secret abortions on teenagers from Missouri who avoid the parental involvement laws there.

Tom Brejcha of the Thomas More Society Pro-Life Law Center in Chicago, a pro-life law firm, represented the Michaels in the case.