Abortion Practitioner Pulling Gun on Pro-Lifers Gets Reduced Charge

State   Steven Ertelt   Jul 4, 2012   |   3:28PM    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 getting a reduced sentence. Leading pro-life advocates are not happy with the decision.

Gary Boyle, 62, of Blountville, Tennessee, does abortions at the facility near Charleston, South Carolina. 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. In court, police detectives said Broyle, 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 have seen him face as many as five years in prison if convicted and sentenced to the maximum term.

However, Scarlett Wilson, South Carolina’s Solicitor for its Ninth Judicial Circuit, has reduced the criminal charge she had filed against Boyle. Wilson announced that the charges would be reduced to a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $100 or a 30-day jail sentence — a step likely to culminate in a sentence amounting to what pro-lifers say is a mere inconvenience for cash-rich abortion practitioner.

40 Days for Life, an international pro-life ministry outreach, and Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based Public Interest Law Firm, have registered a strong protest with Wilson’s office.

“We are outraged at this latest evidence of a double standard applied by too many prosecutors — federal, state, and local — when it comes to charging abortion proponents with serious crimes against pro-life advocates,” said Shawn Carney, campaign director of 40 Days for Life. “How different would Judge Wilson’s charge be if the roles had been reversed? Threat of violence is threat of violence – and should always be treated as a serious crime. Dr. Boyle should be fully punished for his reckless and despicable actions.”

Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, said: “The U.S. Justice Department has launched federal prosecutions against pro-life advocates across the country for merely offering literature to cars entering Planned Parenthood, calling this pristine exercise of basic First Amendment rights a criminal ‘obstruction’ of ‘access’ to abortion facilities when cars suffer only slight delays in turning into driveways. These cases have been defeated, albeit at great expense. Yet such threats of deadly force against pro-lifers as occurred here in Charleston are now brushed off with a mere slap on the wrist.”

“Public safety is paramount, and it is high time that pro-lifers’ rights are fully and equally protected,” he added.

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Boyle was originally arrested for “aggravated assault with a firearm,” but this was later reduced to “presenting a firearm” and now further reduced to “disorderly conduct,” a charge typically aimed at public drunkenness. While one police report claims that three pro-lifers surrounded Dr. Boyle’s car, evidence proves that the abortionist was never even approached by the pro-life advocates.

“It was shocking to see that he [Boyle] was pointing a gun at us,” said John Karafa, a 40 Days for Life participant and one of three victims at whom the gun was aimed. “Our lives should not be threatened because we are exercising our right to peacefully pray….A mere slap on the wrist is insufficient and will not keep him from threatening us with his gun in the future.”

Brejcha also pointed out that Boyle was only charged with a misdemeanor, therefore his gun license will not be revoked and he may continue to carry a firearm.