Legal Update

Peter Breen, Tom Brejcha and Eric Scheidler outside the DuPage County Courthouse

Peter Breen, Tom Brejcha and Eric Scheidler outside the DuPage County Courthouse [Photo by Matt Yonke]

The Pro-Life Action League is currently embroiled in several lawsuits, most of which concern Planned Parenthood’s controversial “Mega-Clinic” in Aurora, Illinois. The League is represented in all these cases by the Thomas More Society Pro-Life Law Center of Chicago.

Settlement Reached with Aurora

This fall, after more than two years of negotiations, a Settlement Agreement was reached with the City of Aurora over police violations of the civil rights of pro-lifers protesting the massive Planned Parenthood abortion facility there. The City of Aurora recognizes pro-lifers’ broad rights to advocate for the lives of unborn babies and provide abortion alternatives, and a special procedure has been put in place to deal with any future problems.

Frachey v. Planned Parenthood

The key to shutting down Planned Parenthood of Aurora may be Frachey v. Planned Parenthood, the zoning case first filed the very day Planned Parenthood opened its doors, which is now in state court. In November, Judge Neal Cerne ruled the complaint must be drawn up with greater detail, and an amended complaint was filed in early January. The most significant allegation in the complaint is that city ordinances forbid any not-for-profit health service from operating at the site in question.

Scheidler v. Trombley

The League’s Eric Scheidler is awaiting a ruling from the Illinois State Court of Appeals in his libel suit against Planned Parenthood of Illinois and its CEO Steve Trombley, over defamatory statements Trombley published in the Aurora Beacon News and in letters to city officials, including the charge that the League has a “well-documented history of violence.”

Eric is appealing the trial court judge’s ruling that a new state law meant to protect grassroots activists from being bullied by large corporations can be read to grant Planned Parenthood immunity from libel charges. Planned Parenthood’s demand for over $317,000 in legal fees is being held in abeyance while Eric’s appeal is being considered.

Chicago Bubble Zone

The League is currently working with Thomas More Society attorneys to compile evidence of the arbitrary and abusive manner in which Chicago’s new Bubble Zone ordinance is being enforced by police, in preparation for a lawsuit seeking to strike down the unjust law.

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