Judge: Man Must Remove Billboard on Ex-Girlfriend’s Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 28, 2011   |   10:43AM   |   Almogordo, NM

A judge has ordered a New Mexico man to take down the billboard he put up about his former girlfriend’s alleged abortion. The billboard has made national headlines as the man says he is in grief concerning the life of his child.

Greg Fultz erected the billboard weeks ago with the words, “This Would Have Been A Picture Of My 2-Month Old Baby If The Mother Had Decided To Not KILL Our Child!” The billboard shows a picture of Fultz holding an outline of a an infant.

“My original intentions when I started this campaign were quite simple,” Fultz said. “I just wanted to shed the light on pro-life issues and fathers’ rights. I have had no closure over my own personal loss and that’s where the billboard came into play.”

Fulz’s girlfriend, Nani Lawrence, has sued and claims the billboard violates her right to privacy and a local court has suggested that the billboard be removed. Fultz and his attorney have appealed the restraining order saying that his rights to free speech are abridged by it. Also at issue is whether Lawrence ever had an abortion — she contends she did not and the baby may have died as the result of a miscarriage.

Now, a state district court judge ordered Fulz to take down the billboard immediately. According to an AP report, State District Judge James Counts issued the ruling as part of the protecting order he granted Lawrence.

However, Fulz’s attorneys says his client is concerned about his free speech rights and will appeal the ruling, saying, “He said he is prepared to go to jail for this. His position is that this billboard is not really about her. It’s about his statement of fathers’ rights.”

Ellen Jessen, the attorney for Lawrence, says she has not discussed the pregnancy or potential abortion with her client because privacy rights and not abortion is the central point of the lawsuit.

Fultz said he “will fight this until I have no other options.”

“I’m standing up for what I believe in,” he told ABC. “I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that, but I will do whatever I have to do to keep my legal message up there.”

Lawrence admits she did not consult with Fultz about the fate of their unborn child but, according to AP, denies she had an abortion. She and friends claim she ultimately had a miscarriage that took the life of the baby.

“My argument is: What Fultz said is the truth,” Holmes said in response, saying Fultz believes his girlfriend obtained an abortion.

Matt Bowman, a pro-life attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, commented on the billboard controversy and said the whole incident outlines the grief fathers bear in the abortion process.

“Regardless of the prudential character of this particular billboard, it does highlight a deep and festering wound in our society:  the harm that abortion causes to the fathers of aborted children,” he said. “Most attention on post-abortion psychological harm is focused on the mothers, but men similarly have intense grief due to abortions of their children, both when they participate and when the abortion is done against their wishes.”

“Longstanding post-abortion healing organizations such as Rachel’s Vineyard, or the Catholic Church’s Project Rachel ministry, can be contacted for specific resources to help men heal from abortion,” he noted.

Jeanne Monahan of the Family Research Council agrees with the post-abortion remarks.

“While abortion is often touted as a woman’s issue, a woman’s choice, the father is equally a parent to the developing little baby yet often lacks standing when it comes to a decision about abortion,” she said. “One such man from New Mexico was recently silenced when he wanted to preserve and protect the life of his developing baby. His girlfriend had the abortion despite his convictions. He was so distressed and angered by his lack of choice in the matter that he commissioned a billboard on a major highway to communicate his experience.”

Right to Life of New Mexico initially endorsed the billboard but backed out of co-sponsoring it upon learning of the details behind it.