The pro-life Texas group behind the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn movement is being sued by pro-abortion feminist groups for calling the killing of unborn babies in abortions murder.
The Longview News-Journal reports the pro-abortion Lilith Fund, The Afiya Center and the Texas Equal Access Fund filed the lawsuit Thursday, accusing Right to Life of East Texas and its director, Mark Lee Dickson, of defamation.
The lawsuit comes just weeks after some of the same pro-abortion groups dropped another lawsuit against cities that passed ordinances declaring themselves sanctuaries for unborn babies and banning abortions. Right to Life of East Texas and Dickson have been leading the sanctuary city effort.
Now, the pro-abortion groups are accusing Dickson of being an “anti-abortion extremist” who “knowing lied” about their work, according to the report.
Amanda Beatriz Williams, executive director of the Lilith Fund, accused the pro-life leader of calling their pro-abortion groups “criminal” because they help women get abortions.
“Despite what Dickson and Right to life East Texas have said about us or abortion rights in Texas, helping people seeking abortion care is not against the law,” Williams said. “There’s nothing criminal about helping people access essential health care with love and compassion.”
Dickson said he learned about the lawsuit Thursday after receiving a letter earlier this month asking him to retract several of his statements.
“The comments they asked me to retract were comments which treated abortion as murder and the abortion-aiding organizations as involved in the criminal act of abortion,” Dickson said. “I have no reason to retract anything that I said. Abortion is the murder of innocent unborn human beings.”
He expressed hope that the lawsuit will result in a victory for life. Jonathan F. Mitchell, a former Solicitor General of Texas, is representing the pro-life organization in the lawsuit, he said.
“The Lilith Fund and other abortion-aiding organizations all take part in the murder of innocent unborn human beings,” Dickson said. “The statements which I have made are rooted not in my own imagination, but in the law written on all of our hearts, in the Constitution of the United States of America, in the Texas Constitution, and in the laws of the great State of Texas.”
The Lilith Fund is a pro-abortion Texas group that provides financial aid to help women abort their unborn babies. It also works to promote a “positive culture around abortion” and claims one of its main missions is compassion.
Its executive director claimed Dickson and his pro-life organization mischaracterized their abortion work as “criminal” and damaged their outreach.
“We know that Dickson and his associates knowingly lie about Lilith Fund and our partners in order to confuse, intimidate, and dissuade Texans seeking abortions — and to malign our organizations in an effort to impede our work and harm our clients,” Williams said.
But Dickson defended his statements, noting that Texas still has pre-Roe v. Wade statutes that criminalize abortion. Though Roe prohibits the state from enforcing them, the statutes have not been struck down or repealed, he said.
“Until these statutes are repealed by the Legislature that enacted them, they are still the law of the State of Texas,” Dickson said. “When a court declares a statute to be unconstitutional that does not automatically erase that law. All that means is that those particular laws cannot be enforced in such a way that contradicts that court’s interpretation of the Constitution. The Supreme Court is not the supreme law of the land. According to the Constitution, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.”
Dickson has been leading the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn effort across the state. So far, 13 cities have passed the pro-life ordinance, and pro-life advocates hope more will follow.
The pro-life ordinances recognize that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected under the law. They prohibit abortions within city limits and prevent abortion businesses from opening there. The ordinances also penalize abortionists for aborting unborn babies, but they do not penalize women who seek or have abortions.
The Texan reports the ACLU challenged part of the ordinance that describes pro-abortion groups that help women get abortions as “criminal organizations.” The cities responded by amending their ordinances, and the ACLU dropped the lawsuit.
Dickson told LifeNews.com that, despite what the ACLU claims, the amendment did not weaken the ordinances.
He explained: “While it is true that the amended ordinance removes calling the ACLU’s clients and others ‘criminal organizations,’ the act of abortion and the act of aiding and abetting an abortion are still considered criminal acts in every city which the ACLU has sued. If the Lilith Fund or the TEA Fund or any other organization pays for an abortion within the city limits of Waskom, Naples, Joaquin, Tenaha, Rusk, Gary or Wells, Texas, their organization is involved in criminal activity and there will be consequences.”
In related news, LifeNews.com recently was “fact checked” for describing Planned Parenthood as an abortion business. PolitiFact claimed the description was “mostly false” – even though Planned Parenthood aborts more unborn babies than any other group in the U.S., including more than 345,000 last year.