Life Legal Defense Foundation Kept the Pressure on By Defending the Defenders of Life
May 2, 2012: LLDF’s Allison Aranda wrote a letter applauding the license denial but demanding the immediate closure of the NWAW clinic due to the blatant efforts to subvert the consent agreement.
Please also see Citizen Link article Alabama Health Officials: Abortion Center to Close as Scheduled
Birmingham News article (5/1/2012) about the license denial.
Last week the Alabama Department of Public Health wrote the final chapter for the abortion facility New Woman All Women (NWAW) by revoking its license because it failed to offer safe medical care. A decision was preceded by legal actions of the Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) through their Legal Director Catherine Short and Senior Staff Counsel, Allison Aranda, along with local attorneys Trenton Garmon, Nicholas Beckham and Philip Jauregui. For almost two years, attorneys worked in the courts to make it possible for pro-life advocates to counsel women with a crisis pregnancy. They were also able to observe activities that demonstrated this was an unsafe place for women’s medical treatment, activities that were curtailed by both the clinic and Birmingham police.
“Had we not stopped the police from illegally arresting pro-life advocates, who else could have reported to the authorities that in one day, three women were taken from this abortion clinic to a hospital for emergency medical treatment?” said Dana Cody, Executive Director, Life Legal Defense Foundation. “Their ability to bear witness outside this Birmingham abortion clinic helped to shed light on a very dark and deadly place that needed to be closed.”
HISTORY OF LLDF LEGAL WORK
Back in January of 2011, pro-life advocates Jeff White and the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust were victorious when the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama dismissed a lawsuit against them seeking to prevent White and others from peacefully praying, holding signs, and engaging in oral communication on the public sidewalk outside the NWAW abortion clinic.
In October 2010, after the Survivors, represented by Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF), and local attorney Trent Garmon, won an injunction prohibiting the Birmingham police from interfering with their free speech activities, NWAW countered by attempting to enforce an inapplicable federal injunction against White, the Survivors, and other pro-life groups. For over a decade, the clinic and police had been using this injunction to intimidate local pro-lifers from engaging in sidewalk counseling on the public sidewalk. Initially, NWAW was successful in obtaining an injunction against pro-lifers. However, the injunction was a short-lived victory for NWAW when days later it was set aside by Circuit Court Judge Ramsey.
This ruling by Judge Ramsey quashed any hope of victory for NWAW in state court, with the court stating in its order of dismissal that jurisdiction belongs to the federal court.
LLDF Legal Director Catherine Short stated, “The NWAW got used to a new reality: pro-life sidewalk counselors could bring their life-saving message directly to women in crisis pregnancies. Now they have another reality check, putting up a ‘closed’ sign on their doors.”