A Planned Parenthood security guard is accused of assaulting an elderly pro-life advocate and falsely imprisoning another Nov. 26 outside one of its New Mexico abortion facilities.
This week, attorneys with Abortion on Trial filed a lawsuit on behalf of Dora Montoya, a pro-life sidewalk counselor, alleging battery and false imprisonment by the security guard, identified in the lawsuit as Ricky James Vigil.
“This was not only an overly aggressive display of force, this was an illegal display of unauthorized force. This security guard had no legal right to cuff and detain the woman he found on public property,” Abortion on Trial said.
On Nov. 26, Montoya was praying on the public sidewalk outside the Planned Parenthood in Albuquerque when a pro-abortion protester approached her and began yelling, according to the legal complaint shared with LifeNews.
According to the police report, Montoya said she put her hands out at one point to show the abortion activist, Sarah, that she was holding a rosary and praying.
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Sarah told police that Montoya touched her, but, according to police, “Sarah did not believe Dora was trying to harm her.” Montoya said she never touched Sarah, and other witnesses at the scene confirmed this to Abortion on Trial.
However, Vigil told police that he saw Montoya assault Sarah and decided to intervene. According to the lawsuit, Vigil left the Planned Parenthood property and moved onto the public sidewalk to handcuff and detain Montoya.
“After witnesses opposed [Vigil’s] action and reminded the guard he had no legal authority to handcuff people on the sidewalk, the security guard forced the woman onto abortion clinic property, assaulting an 85 year old man in the process,” according to Abortion on Trial. “He then detained the woman at the back of the abortion clinic’s property, illegally, until police and AOT’s attorney arrived on scene and demanded her release.”
Abortion on Trial also posted a video of the Nov. 26 incident on its Facebook page, showing Montoya being handcuffed and the 85-year-old man falling to the ground as the security guard pushes her into the Planned Parenthood parking lot. In the video, the security guard also can be heard cursing at the elderly man.
Montoya’s lawyers said Vigil illegally detained her for about an hour until police and her attorneys arrived.
“He had no right to physically force her onto private property. He had no right to detain her under guard,” Abortion on Trial responded. “He did not even have the right to a citizens arrest under New Mexico law. This security guard was simply acting far beyond his legal authority.”
The pro-life legal group said Montoya and the other pro-lifers at the scene were peaceful, and they did their best to de-escalate the situation.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains also is named in the lawsuit. Abortion on Trial attorneys said the abortion chain is responsible for its employees’ actions on the job.
“This event was unfounded, harmful, and illegal,” they said. “We fully intend on holding this provider accountable for the harmful and illegal actions taken on their behalf.”
Vandalism, assaults and other attacks on pro-life advocates have become increasingly common. Earlier this month, Life Legal Defense Foundation also announced legal action against an abortion activist at Western Washington University who allegedly nearly slashed a pro-lifer with a knife while destroying one of their signs. This week, a Texas pro-life organization also received its second bomb threat in three months.