A pro-abortion group is facing a lawsuit for posting private, confidential contact information of pro-life advocates online who protest or offer abortion alternatives at local abortion clinics.
Attorney Steven Tiedemann has filed three suits in Federal and State Court against Voice of Choice, its founder Todd Stave, and its current director Wendy Robinson. Tiedemann represents pro-life people injured by VOC’s “Bully List,” which lists abortion clinic protestors, complete with their photo, and their personal address, email and phone numbers.
According to information provided to LifeNews from one of the pro-life advocates in the case, “Stave began VOC as his response to anti-abortion activists who picketed his daughter’s “back-to-school” night because Stave is the landlord for a late-term abortion provider. In response to calls he received from protestors, Stave asked his friends to “fight back” and return calls in a manner that he knew would be unwelcome, annoying and harassing.”
“Soon, thousands of persons from across the planet participated in this calling campaign. Stave then founded VOC to expand the harassment campaign to all abortion clinic protestors. VOC now lists protestors on its website as “Bullies” with their photo and personal contact/address information,” the pro-lifer told LifeNews. “Although VOC asks callers to be “polite” it also instructs them on how to call anonymously. Each of VOC’s followers who have made calls may be added to the suits as Defendants after Tiedemann learns their identity during discovery.”
“The filings allege that the clear purpose of VOC is to mount a harassing calling/email campaign against those listed as Bullies. The suits allege that VOC, Robinson and Stave encourage and provide instructions for their minions to call and email repeatedly in order to halt anti-abortion protests,” the pro-lifer added.
Tiedemann commented on the lawsuit, saying the pro-life people are protected in their First Amendment rights.
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“Each person listed as ‘Bullies’ on VOC’s website engage in what is clearly the exercise of their First Amendment rights and it is violation of Federal Criminal Law for Defendants to conspire to limit those rights,” Tiedemann says. “Unlike abortion protests that seek to stop a commercial transaction, Stave and his followers are conspiring to ‘shut up’ my clients in the exercise of their protected rights, and that in my opinion is illegal.”
The lawsuits allege that Stave, Robinson, VOC and their followers “oppress, threaten or intimidate” the “Bullies” in their future free-exercise of protected rights, and also punish them for their past protected speech.