Sunday, June 14, 2020

Abortion Rights Groups Sues For Defamation

A lawsuit was filed last week in a Texas state trial court by an abortion rights group charging Right To Life East Texas and its director with defamation.  The complaint (full text) in The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity v. Dickson, (TX Dist. Ct., filed 6/11/2020), alleges that plaintiff has been defamed as part of defendants' successful efforts to get various municipalities to enact ordinances, contingent on the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, declaring abortion to be murder. Defendants have labeled plaintiff a criminal organization. The complaint alleges in part:
To be perfectly clear, 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.
[Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]