Pennsylvania abortion clinic files lawsuit against three protestors for threatening employees and blocking entrance
The clinic has listed out a series of incidents where they claim the trio did not adhere to the 1994 federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act
A Pennsylvania-area abortion clinic has accused three protestors of threatening, harassing, and insulting employees in a lawsuit filed against them on Thursday, April 11, in an undisclosed federal court.
The six-count lawsuit has been filed by the Allentown Women's Center located on South Commerce Way in Hanover Township, Northampton County, and accuses the defendants, identified as John Dunkle, Anthony J. Sulpizio, and Mark Michael Bogunovich, of not adhering to the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
Signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, the act prohibits the use of physical force or threat of physical force to intentionally injure, intimidate, or interfere with a person seeking or providing reproductive health services. The clinic claims the defendants broke the law by committing a variety of offenses including blocking access for patients and blocking escorts from accompanying patients into the clinic.
It also goes into detail on the trio's offenses. According to Leigh Valley Live, which obtained a copy of the lawsuit, Sulpizio has used gay slurs against clinic staff and called them "baby killers". He reportedly told one doctor in November 2018, "You know you're going to hell, right?" and then compared him to Kermit Gosnell, an abortion doctor who was convicted of murder. He then allegedly asked, "Are your children proud of their father for killing all those babies."
But it doesn't end there. He was also accused of holding a clipboard and posing as a clinic staffer in order to confront patients as they drove into the parking lot and to prevent escorts from greeting them and accompanying them into the clinic. The lawsuit also states that, in January, he told a patient's escort, "Your parents should have killed you."
It claimed Sulpizio's activity at the clinic dates back to at least 2011 and that his "harassing, obstructive, and hazardous conduct is escalating". It also claimed that employees and patients both feared it would reach a point where he would physically harm them. According to the lawsuit, an escort felt similarly threatened by Bogunovich, whose activity at the clinic dates back to 2016.
Dunkle, on the other hand, has been linked with an extremist anti-abortion group called 'the Army of God' which advocates for violence against abortion clinics and its staff and was accused of trespassing at the clinic 15 times on February 23, 2019, alone. It also says he has been "regularly engaging in obstructive, intimidating, hazardous, threatening, and harassing activity" and characterized his behavior as "escalating".
In the lawsuit, filed by Philadelphia attorneys David Samuel Cohen, Debra S. Friedman, and Jason Cabrera along with Susan Frietsche, a Pittsburgh-based attorney with the Women’s Law Project, the clinic has asked a federal judge to grant an injunction that would force Sulpizio, Bogunovich, and Dunkle to stay at least 25 feet away from its driveway entrance at all times.