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By Jay Sekulow1309027423000

On May 1, 2004, a Planned Parenthood security guard grabbed college student, Daniel Heenan, pushed him from behind, and threw him to the ground, toppling on top of him.  Daniel, while a student at Christendom College in Front Royal, VA, traveled with other students once a week to a Washington, DC abortion facility operated by Planned Parenthood.  At the facility, Daniel and his fellow students would pray and engage in sidewalk counseling activities.  There was no blocking of access or acts of civil disobedience involved in this case. 

 

When Daniel began his weekly activities, there was a painted black line on the sidewalk outside the facility, marking a 20-foot zone from the doors.  Escorts and police had told pro-lifers that they were not allowed to cross over the line.  The distance limitation made the job of counseling women much more difficult.  In 2004, Daniel and his friends discovered that there was no legal basis for the painted line and decided to ignore the distance restriction that had been observed in the past.  When he did so, the clinic escorts began blocking the sidewalks. 

 

We initiated the lawsuit on behalf of Daniel, alleging battery, and have sued both the security guard and Planned Parenthood of Washington, DC.  Discovery in the case has now been completed, and we have just filed motions for summary judgment.  The DC Superior Court has set a deadline for its decision of May 1st. 

 

We are going to continue to stand up for the rights of pro-life citizens to exercise their free speech rights free of harassment.  I will keep you posted on the progress of this case. 

 

 

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