San Francisco, CA — The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has reduced a $108.5 million award to a group of abortionists to under $5 million in a Portland case against pro-life activists who published the names of abortionists. The pro-life group, known as the American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA), had claimed that the First Amendment protected their right to publish the names, while abortionists complained that the activities of the ACLA caused them to live in fear.
A panel of three conservative judges, all Republican appointees, were clearly uncomfortable with the extreme punitive damages that were over 31 times the compensatory damages awarded in this case.
The ACLA was represented by the Thomas Moore Society, which plans to appeal once again to the Supreme Court. The six-year old case has already been to the 9th Circuit Court of appeals three times and to the Supreme Court once. Three years ago, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
Attorney Edward White, who represented the pro-lifers, indicated that the case had bounced from court to court because the controversial social issues involved.
“Because this case involves abortion, it is being dealt with differently than another civil rights case,” he said.
“We congratulate the ACLA on their court victory and pray that their appeal to the Supreme Court will fully exonerate them,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “These men and women have deeply held religious convictions that abortion is murder and that abortionists are murderers. They should be allowed to publicly say so.”
The case is Planned Parenthood of Columbia/Willamette v. American Coalition of Life Activists, 05 C.D.O.S. 8065.