Last week the trial of Naperville, Illinois resident Michael Fabian (right) concluded with a guilty plea to a charge of “improper lane usage.”
Fabian, 25, was accused of swerving his car at a teenaged sidewalk counselor as he exited the parking lot of Planned Parenthood in Aurora, Illinois last February.
As we reported at the time here and here, local high school student Hannah M. was sidewalk counseling at Planned Parenthood in Aurora after the monthly protest at the facility, when a car exiting the Planned Parenthood lot swerved at Hannah, nearly hitting her.
Aurora police investigated and discovered the driver to be Fabian, but declined to press charges. Fortunately, DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin took up the case and charged Fabian with misdemeanor aggravated assault, which carries penalties as high as one year in jail.
When the case came to trial, surveillance footage provided by Planned Parenthood proved inconclusive, but six eye-witnesses all saw Fabian swerve his vehicle. Not wanting to risk a not-guilty verdict from a jury trial, Berlin offered Fabian a plea deal of three months of court supervision and paying $180 in court costs if he pleaded guilty to improper lane use. Fabian accepted the deal and pleaded guilty.
Though the reduced charge is less than ideal, Fabian pleaded guilty to breaking the law in his actions in February and will pay for it. We applaud State’s Attorney Berlin for taking the incident seriously. It sends a clear message to the community that violence against pro-life counselors and prayer partners outside abortion facilities is absolutely unacceptable.
For Hannah’s part, she is more fired up than ever about her pro-life ministry and has continued to witness outside abortion facilities across Chicagoland along with other members of the Live Pro-Life Group at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Cheers to Hannah for her courageous work for life even in the face of persecution!
Press Coverage of the Trial
- Charge reduced for driver accused of swerving at demonstrator—Daily Herald
- Driver charged with swerving at abortion clinic protester pleads to reduced charge—Chicago Sun-Times
LifeNews Note: Matt Yonke writes for the Pro-Life Action League.