An extremist pro-abortion group is attempting to silence a highly effective pro-life advocate with a clever new weapon: a defamation suit.
According to a document released by Courthouse News, the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity recently filed a lawsuit against “anti-abortion extremist” pastor Mark Lee Dickson and East Texas Right To Life on the grounds that Dickson’s and others’ statements that abortion is murder amount to accusing the pro-abortion organization of crime.
The Lilith Fund is seeking between $200,000 to $1,000,000 in damages.
In the past, the Lilith Fund has made headlines at Activist Mommy for its antics, including raising funds to pay for Hurricane Harvey survivors to procure abortions. Dickson, on the other hand, has been making plenty of progress since we first reported his success in convincing a small Texas town to become a “sanctuary city” for the unborn.
“Defendants’ lies about Lilith Fund and the other organizations are as simple as they are appalling,” the lawsuit says. “They have repeatedly stated that Lilith Fund and the other organizations are literal criminals when Defendants know that is not true. Worse still, Defendants have encouraged others, including members of local government in cities throughout the state, to also lie about Lilith Fund and other organizations”
“When Defendants made these false statements and encouraged others to do so, Defendants knew that Lilith Fund and the other organizations had committed no crimes. Abortion is not a crime in Texas,” the suit goes on. “Abortion is not murder under Texas law.”
The suit continues:
… Lilith Fund is not arguing it has been defamed because Defendants believe or argue that abortion is murder in some moral sense; instead, Lilith Fund has been defamed because Defendants have falsely accused it of assisting in the commission of the specific crime of murder. Lilith Fund has not been defamed because Defendants hope one day to make abortion a crime, but because Defendants presently state that Lilith Fund is, at this moment, breaking the law. These statements are baseless and provably false, and Defendants knew these statements were false when they were uttered as their own statements and the text of the ordinance itself demonstrates. In Texas, this is enough, on its own, to support a claim of defamation, even in the absence of damages.
According to The Texan, the Lilith Fund privately asked Dickson to retract his comments. He denied, prompting the suit. Of his refusal to recant his statements, Dickson said:
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. I have no reason to retract anything that I said. Abortion is the murder of innocent unborn human beings. The Lilith Fund and other abortion-aiding organizations all take part in the murder of innocent unborn human beings.
Pastor Dickson also announced the lawsuits in a post on Facebook:
According to the Longview News-Journal, Amanda Beatriz Williams, the Lilith Fund’s executive director, said, “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. … There’s nothing criminal about helping people access essential health care with love and compassion.”
Dickson, however, explained exactly what basis upon which he calls Lilith Fund and its ilk murderers: Texas state law.
“Abortion is the murder of innocent unborn human beings,” said Dickson in another Facebook post. “The Lilith Fund and other abortion-aiding organizations all take part in the murder of innocent unborn human beings.”
“The statements which I have made are rooted not in my own imagination,” he went on, “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.”
Dickson cited a 1961 Texas Penal Code statute which holds anyone who “furnishes the means for procuring an abortion knowing the purpose intended” as criminally liable, one of several laws in different states that have been ignored since Roe v. Wade.
Dickson notes that, although the Supreme Court in the case ruled that such laws were unconstitutional, the Texas legislature has never actually repealed the law.
“What many people do not realize is the fact that neither Roe v. Wade nor any other decision by the Supreme Court ‘struck down’ or revoked the Pre-Roe statutes which criminalized abortion,” Dickson continued. “Until these statutes are repealed by the Legislature that enacted them, they are still the law of the State of Texas.”
The Roe ruling, therefore, does not “automatically erase that law,” but only prevents the state from enforcing it in a manner “that contradicts the court’s interpretation of the Constitution.”
“The Supreme Court is not the supreme law of the land,” Dickson concluded. “According to the Constitution, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It would do us all well to keep that in mind.”
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