Abortion Practitioner Pulling Gun on Pro-Lifers Goes to Trial

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 2, 2011   |   8:02PM   |   Charleston, SC

The abortion practitioner who brandished a gun when heading to do abortions at the Charleston Women’s Medical Center abortion facility in West Ashley, South Carolina in October is headed to trial.

Charleston County Associate Chief Magistrate James B. Gosnell Jr. issued a ruling at a preliminary hearing today that enough evidence exists for the case against Gary Boyle, 62, of Blountville, Tennessee, to move forward. Boyle lives in Tennessee but does abortions at the facility near Charleston.

Apparently upset at the fact that local pro-life advocates had been participating in the national 40 Days for Life campaign, Boyle met their peaceful presence by pulling a gun.

Boyle drove his silver Lexus vehicle into the parking lot and he allegedly approached the pro-life advocates, including a 17-year-old boy, and produced a black handgun loaded with 15 rounds. As Boyle, who also runs the Bristol Regional Women’s Center abortion facility in Tennessee, made his way to the abortion business, 50-year-old pro-life resident John Karafa called 911.

Police arrested Boyle and charged him with pointing a firearm.

According to the Post and Courier newspaper, a police detective said in court today that Boyle, during an interview with police officials, admitted to having a weapon but claimed he pointed it at the ceiling of his SUV and not at any of the pro-life advocates. Boyle told officers he was worried for his life even though pro-life advocates did not threaten him in any way and claimed three pro-life people approached his vehicle. The people at the abortion center that day dispute that claim.

Boyle is officially charged with presenting a firearm, a felony that could see him face as many as five years in prison if convicted and sentenced to the maximum term.

Boyle reportedly holds a Tennessee permit to carry the gun, and the state has a reciprocal agreement with South Carolina to allow weapons to be carried that are eligible in Tennessee. He has already been freed on $25,000 bond.

Last October, 50-year-old pro-life resident John Karafa called 911 after seeing the gun Boyle brandished.

“We were like, ‘Well, that was a gun,’” Karafa told the newspaper. “You can’t do that.”

Several of the local pro-life prayer event participants, who had signed pledges stating they would act in a peaceful, nonviolent manner during the 40 Days for Life event, appeared outside the courthouse while the booking took place.

Local resident Sandra Rochester said Boyle must have been wanting to intimidate the pro-life people who have been handling out literature for women showing abortion alternatives.

“We’ve saved four babies so far,” Rochester told the newspaper.

Boyle has had legal problems before as he and his business partner ran in trouble in Tennessee because they did not have the proper papers from the state to run their abortion business. The health department tried to close the abortion center, but a state judge eventually ruled the paperwork requirement was unconstitutional.

Boyle’s arrest came two months after a man was arrested outside a late-term abortion facility in New Mexico after he threatened to shoot two pro-life women providing alternatives to women going to the Southwestern Women’s Options abortion center. The abortion center is operated by late-term abortion practitioner Curtis Boyd.

The man reportedly became angry and ushered his family towards the abortion clinic.

“When we come out, I’m going to put a bullet in your head if you talk to her,” the man told the pro-life women, whose identities pro-life advocates are withholding to protect their security.

Former Operation Rescue intern Bud Shaver said the man then lifted his shirt to reveal a dark object to the two pro-life women that they described as looking like a gun. The women called police who, Shaver said, “responded appropriately and took him away in handcuffs.”

Shaver said the man’s threat had the opposite effect of allowing abortions as a police SWAT team arrived and shut down the abortion center for two hours, preventing abortions from taking place.