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Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Fluffy WND Profile of Anti-Abortion Extremist Skips Most of the Controversy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 5 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh paints a fawning picture of anti-abortion lawyer Bryan J. Brown, whom he paints as a victim for his beliefs who is unable to obtain a license to practice law in Indiana. Unruh, as is his prediliction, tells the story only from Brown's point of view, making only a token attempt to contact the other side.

Unruh also allows Brown to spin away his history of anti-abortion extremism, uncritically repeating his claim that "Never mind that I had been a deputy attorney general in Kansas for four years, and constitutional law attorney working for the American Family Association for six years – all without any arrests for civil disobedience or even discipline issued against me. (Or arrests for any reason for that matter!) ... Never mind a clean record as an attorney since 1996. I was a former pro-life activist who had given himself to the Christian Right for all of his career, and for that I was to pay dearly."

In fact, Brown has been arrested numerous times. The Pitch reports that Brown was "arrested multiple times during 1991's infamous 'Summer of Mercy' abortion protests in Wichita" and "refused to pay a federal judgment against him in Indiana for the same kind of activism." Brown also led protests outside the homes of abortion doctors in Kansas and their employees.

That Indiana case seems central to Brown's problems there. He was a bullhorn-wielding leader of a protest against an abortion clinic in Fort Wayne, aiming for a turnout so large that it would force the city to mobilize the National Guard. The clinic obtained a judgment against Brown and other activists, and Brown defiantly refused to pay, to the point of bailing on a marriage and walking away from a job in what he called a "scorched earth" policy:

Nine months later, Judge Lee ordered Northeast Indiana Rescue and its three leaders to pay the National Women's Health Organization $61,616 for legal fees and expenses.

Brown and his wife divorced in December 1990. Ellen walked away with an eight-track studio recorder, a 1987 Ford Taurus and $2,750 from the sale of their New Haven, Indiana, home.

Except that Brown never sold his house. He simply quit his $45,000-a-year factory job, stopped making mortgage payments and drove away.

He would later explain it to the Wichita paper as a "scorched earth" policy.

"My enemies have pursued me, and I'm gonna make sure that they have nothing," he told the Eagle.

Unruh touches upon this incident, completely ignoring Brown's extremism and putting a positive spin on things:

Several years ago, a federal judge ultimately lifted a 20-year-old injunction that regulated pro-life protests at an abortion business in Indiana and – as part of the order – canceled a demand that the advocates for life pay the abortionists' legal fees that had ballooned to $350,000 with interest.

The ruling was from U.S. District Judge William C. Lee in the case of the Fort Wayne Women's Health Organization operated by abortionist Ulrich Klopfer and others at 827 Webster Street in Fort Wayne.

The abortionist and several women who never were identified went to court against Northeast Indiana Rescue, Brown and others seeking an order to keep sidewalk counselors away from women entering the abortion business. At the time, the business also was ordered not to interfere with legal protest activities.

The case also produced an order that the pro-life defendants pay $61,000 in legal fees to the abortion business, a payment that never was made and grew to $350,000 with interest over the years.

But it was canceled after the abortion business closed and the building was sold. It now is occupied by Brown's ArchAngel Institute.

Unruh fudges or completely botches several facts here. First, it didn't happen "several years ago"; it happened in 2009. Second, Unruh never mentions that Brown himself was named in the injunction -- fuzzily referring only to "advocates for life" or "the pro-life defendants" -- nor does he mention the extreme measures Brown took to avoid paying that legally mandated judgment, essentially violating the law. Third, as the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported, the clinic didn't close; it simply moved to a different location.

WND does love doing fluffy profiles of anti-abortion extremists. A 2002 article touted one extremist, Neal Horsley, operator of the notorious "Nuremburg Files" website, which listed the names and other personal information of doctors and workers at abortion clinics, with said names being crossed out when they die or are killed. Like Unruh's article, the 2002 WND article largely avoiding reporting any of the controversy, focusing instead on his difficulty of finding ISPs that would host his hateful work.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:13 AM EDT

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