Appeals court rules in favor of Texas pro-lifer

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Live Action.]

By Nancy Flanders
Live Action

The 7th District Court of Appeals in Texas ruled in favor of pro-life activist Mark Lee Dickson on Sept. 3 against the Lilith Fund, a pro-abortion Texas group that gives financial aid to help women abort their babies.

The court unanimously ruled to dismiss the suit, which accused Dickson of defamation and conspiracy in 2020. Dickson is the Director of Right to Life of East Texas and Founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative. At issue is the fact that when discussing one of the Lilith Fund’s billboards which stated, “Abortion is Freedom,” Dickson countered that the billboard advocated “for the murder of… innocent lives,” adding that abortion is “murder” and “criminal” in light of the pre-Roe v. Wade Texas statutes that criminalized abortion — and which have never been repealed, though they are currently unenforceable due to Roe.

The court determined that, concerning “defamation or protected opinion,” Dickson’s words were constitutionally protected. It said the lower court that allowed the case to continue had “erred.” It also ruled that the pro-abortion Lilith Fund must pay Dickson’s court costs and attorney fees.

“Being opinion, the comments uttered by Dickson and upon which Lilith based its suit are inactionable,” said the court.

Thomas More Society special counsel Erick Kaardal called the lawsuit a “deliberate campaign to muzzle the voices of those who support life, especially when those voices seek to remind the public that the law of Texas continues to define abortion as a criminal offense, despite Roe v. Wade.”

“This is a huge victory for freedom of speech,” said Dickson. “The Lilith Fund has been attempting to stifle and intimidate pro-life speech by filing defamation lawsuits against people who call abortion ‘murder’ or who point out that Texas has never repealed its pre-Roe v. Wade criminal abortion statutes. We are pleased that the Court of Appeals has dismissed the case, and we’re especially grateful that the Court has ordered the Lilith Fund to pay our attorneys’ fees for the costs of defending this ridiculous lawsuit.”

Abortion is not healthcare and it has only one intent — to violently kill innocent preborn human beings who have been deemed too “unwanted,” “unhealthy,” and “unworthy” to live.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Live Action.]


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