Two years ago, a federal jury in Oregon assessed $109 million in damages against the organizations and people behind The Nuremberg Files Web site. The site, readers will recall, publishes the names, addresses, and photos of abortionists, crossing out those who have been killed. Yesterday, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the Oregon verdict, saying the site never actually threatened the doctors. "If their statements merely encouraged unrelated terrorists, then their words are protected by the First Amendment," wrote Judge Alex Kozinski in the unanimous ruling (PDF | HTML). San Francisco attorney Susan Popik, who argued on behalf of Planned Parenthood and other organizations against the creators of The Nuremberg Files, said yesterday's verdict "give[s] extremists carte blanche to make threats that they can orchestrate the carrying-out of by others." One of the defendants simply expressed relief and delight: "We did nothing but express our view, however radical it might seem … Not only do abortion advocates want to have their rights but they want to shut up everybody that calls it murder."
More on life ethics:
- Abortion debate: Do the schools have a role in counseling girls? | Opinions vary widely on appropriateness of counselors presenting a range of alternatives— including abortion—without parents' knowledge or consent (Education Week)
- Stem cell debate rages | Administration steps into fray over federal funding (San Jose Mercury News)
- Swiss parliament legalizes abortion | But law will not take effect before the national vote, which is unlikely to be for several years. (CNN)
- Pro-lifers march for the rights of unborn children | Since Parliament gave the go-ahead to abortion in 1996, an estimated 150,000 abortions have been carried out in South Africa. (Panafrican News Agency)
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