Jury: Anti-Abortion Activist’s Letter to Doctor Not a Threat

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Jurors have sided with a Kanas anti-abortion activist by ruling that she didn’t intentionally seek to intimidate a doctor by sending a letter that suggested someone might place an explosive under the physician’s car.

The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division sued Angel Dillard in 2011 for sending the letter to Dr. Mila Means, who had been training to offer abortions. At the time, no doctor was performing abortions in Wichita in the wake of the 2009 slaying of Dr. George Tiller by an abortion opponent.

Defense attorneys said it was constitutionally protected speech. The jury sided with Dillard on Friday.
The lawsuit was filed under a federal law aimed at protecting access to abortion services. Jurors were tasked with deciding whether the letter constituted a “true threat.”