March 1, 2001

Demonstration on Saturday
Steven C. Brigham sues New Jersey sidewalk counselors

There will be a demonstration of community opposition to abortion and to the opening of an abortion facility in Erie on Saturday, March 3, 2001, from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM. The demonstration will take place at 1611 Peach St., Erie the site of the pending abortion facility.

As we look forward to attending a demonstration at 1611 Peach St., for the one hundred and forty-first time since October 1999, there is news from New Jersey that "Steven C. Brigham" is suing to restrict the activities of New Jersey citizens who are trying to offer hope and help to women being subjected to abortion at Brigham's facility in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. The Express-Times of Easton, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, published a report about the lawsuit: "Abortion doctor sues sidewalk counselors" By Kimberly Bridi.

The Express-Times reports that Brigham is claiming that pro-life sidewalk counselors and demonstrators have "harassed, intimidated and interfered with the medical care of his patients"; that a "portable stereo system blaring anti-abortion messages can be heard inside the clinic"; and that people "have blocked and obstructed the entrance to the clinic, yelling 'You will burn in hell,' 'Don't do it,' 'Don't go in there,' and 'You don't have to kill your baby.'" Brigham's "key witness" fingered one person as a protester who was yelling at her when the accused protester was "18 inches from her face." However, the accused protester was actually a spokeswoman for the Legal Center of Defense of Life Inc. The spokeswoman later commented, "I haven't even been to Phillipsburg in my entire life."

The defendants say they are only peacefully trying to persuade women against having abortions. One of them, a "38-year-old housewife and mother of four," said that when women approach the abortion facility, "We give them pamphlets and articles and offer help - alternatives to getting an abortion.... There is no harassment occurring. I've never heard the loud music except from car radios blasting as people drive by. And it's insanity to claim we would say people will burn in hell. Some of the women that work with me have had abortions themselves."

According to the Express-Times, the defendant's "attorney says.... The protests have been going on for years, and there has been no record of violence or disorderly conduct."

PLEASE LET IT BE KNOWN that the 140 demonstrations at the site of Brigham's planned abortion facility in Erie, the 1611 Peach St. Professional Building, have been silent, orderly, and responsible. On the very rare occasions when demonstrators are approached by a hostile individual, they consistently avoid being drawn into any conversation or interaction that is less than cordial. The demonstrators even go so far as to avoid parking or walking on the grounds of the Professional Building. This is the practice even though People for Life leases an office in the Professional Building (for possible future use as a place for helping women who might be considering the option of abortion). This is not a sign of timidity. It is, rather, a deliberate effort to avoid all things that could needlessly furnish an opportunity for someone to level false or slanderous accusations against the good people who are expressing their disapproval of the killing of unborn children. People for Life will always jealously and vigorously defend its reputation and legitimate rights freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, and freedom from harassment by those who do not share our respect for the dignity of all human beings.

"It does no good to argue ideas with those who will respond as brutes. Works of genius have often been smashed and burned, and geniuses have sometimes been treated no better.... For brutes, the most effective tactic is to intimidate an opponent into the silence of self censorship."

FEBRUARY 13, 2001

P.O. BOX 1126
ERIE, PA 16512

814-459-1333 | |

People for Life, Inc. is an all-volunteer, non-profit, citizen's organization committed to affirming the intrinsic value of human life. People for Life is dedicated to advancing true justice by working for the protection of all innocent human lives, whatever the age, race, sex, physical condition, economic status, or place of residence (including the womb). People for Life encourages local involvement through education, political awareness, and the promotion of loving alternatives to the primitive and violent "solutions" of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. Together, we can create a society in which all human lives are held sacred.