The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Why Does @BridgetteDunlap Want to Suppress the Truth About Abortion?

Posted on | February 13, 2013 | 92 Comments

Monday night, after praising Jill Stanek’s reporting of this story, I found myself criticized on Twitter by Bridgette Dunlap, a law student who has a fellowship at Fordham University’s Leitner Center for International Law and Justice:

OK, fine, Bridgette: Let’s have a long, ugly quarrel on Twitter where you lecture me about privacy rights and I’m forced to advocate the public’s “right to know” argument by which the New York Times justifies leaking classified national-security information.

Accuse me of disrespecting the Morbelli family’s grief, denounce me for seeking to exploit this woman’s death for the sake of politics and I will repeat what I’ve said before: I don’t care, just stop ignoring this story.

This story isn’t about me or you or Jill Stanek. This story is about an abortionist who left a woman to bleed to death. If you want to target Jill Stanek for a lawsuit, please go right ahead, Bridgette, and I’ll cover the lawsuit, because that will call attention to the shameful enormity of the bloody career of this disgraceful butcher, LeRoy Carhart.

Double-dog dare ya.

No, Bridgette, you wouldn’t dare pursue such a lawsuit, because you know as well as I do that the more Americans learn about what “late-term abortion” really means, the more they’ll be horrified to know that the United States is one of only four countries in the world — along with China, North Korea and Canada — where abortions are legal in the 33rd week of pregnancy.

This is a gruesome stain on our national conscience, and it ought to be against the law. Because you know that the truth about late-term abortion would disgust decent people, Bridgette, you’re attempting to intimidate journalists into believing (wrongly) that naming Jennifer McKenna Morbelli as the victim of Carhart’s butchery, or using a previously published photo of her is somehow unethical or illegal.

Hey, I got news for you sweetheart: I didn’t start doing this job last week, and you don’t scare me a bit.

Jennifer Morbelli’s death is now being investigated by state officials in Maryland; it is therefore a matter of public record and I defy you or anyone to argue that it is not legitimate news.

Meanwhile, your attempt to suppress the truth will only cause more people to report the truth: “Streisand Effect,” look it up.

Here’s Matt Vespa covering the story at PJ Media, and here’s Ken Klukowski reporting it at Just in case that’s not enough coverage for you, Bridgette, the U.K. Daily Mail is now on the story:

Anti-abortion activists have taken up the tragic case of a 29-year-old woman from upstate New York who died while terminating her advanced pregnancy, demanding the closing of the clinic where the procedure was performed.
On Monday, more than 150 pro-life activists gathered near the clinic in Germantown, Maryland, accusing the head of the medical center, Dr LeRoy Carhart, of being directly responsible for the death of Jennifer McKenna Morbelli last week.
‘We will not rest until this clinic is shut down and the license of LeRoy Carhart is revoked. God let it be so,’ the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, said at the demonstration.

Welcome to the Information Age, Bridgette. And good luck with your career as a commissar in the Thought Police.




  • t-dahlgren

    Unless the plaintiffs can establish a claim there is nothing to defend or argue against.

    You are familiar with the basics of claims law, are you not?

  • CS

    Come on, man. Celebrities and private individuals are not the same in privacy law. That is so basic. And we aren’t talking about a juvenile defendant or a victim of a charged crime. We are talking about whether it was legal to publicize that a woman no one had heard of had an abortion. We don’t have enough info to answer that at this point.

  • JeffS

    Like Bob said. “Con”.

    Say, what does the “C” in “CS” stand for …. ?

  • CS

    It does? With a name and without permission of the family?! I’d be very grateful if you would post links to some examples.

  • CS

    I’m sorry, Jeff. I was being sarcastic. I wasn’t trying to con you into believing you can yell fire whenever you want. The First Amendment does not allow you to do that, so please don’t.

  • CS

    Thank you for stating the obvious. How can you tell they wouldn’t be able to state a claim? We don’t know the facts, or what state’s law, or what claim.

  • t-dahlgren

    Go to Bing or Google and type in “died following surgery” then hit enter…

    Please tell me you are not really a lawyer.

  • CS

    the issue is reporting the names and details of death of private individuals without permission of the family. If this does happen “quite frequently” as you suggest, it would be easy to prove.

  • t-dahlgren

    So it is not acceptable to show disdain for any woman, more particularly dumb, mouth, liberal ones?

    For the equality or something.

  • t-dahlgren

    Now you are the one who want to claim the moral high ground?

    Since when does seeking out an attorney protect you from evil?

  • t-dahlgren

    So you are saying there is a legal requirement to get the permission of the ‘family’ (much less the next of kin) to report on the details of someone’s death.

    Got a citation for that?

  • Dai Alanye

    “…juries are far more sympathetic to doctors”

    I believe it’s more likely that most plaintiffs have weak cases, and their lawyers a poor understanding of medical science.

    We also need to remember that anyone can make an honest mistake, although Carhart didn’t, and should be held responsible for neglect of proper procedure.

  • t-dahlgren

    “the most famous and pervasive lazy cheat in American dialogue about free speech.”

  • CS

    Non-lawyers may also be interested to know that 1991 Virginia decisions are controlling in NY and Maryland. Just kidding, they are not. Even if they were, IIED claims need not be accompanied by a physical tort in VA.

  • brainpimp

    Wait , isn’t always the left’s position that if we can save just one life the new law is worth it? Hell this is a two’fer.

  • Casey

    No, you’re right. F*ck those stupid liberal bitches.

  • CS

    Nope. Didn’t say that. I think it is rare that the name and details of death of a private person are reported without permission. You say this happens “quite frequently.” I have no reason to believe you.

  • Mm

    HIPAA regulations do not have a celebrity exception. My point about victims and juveniles is that there is no duty: the press voluntarily withholds this information. If there is no duty, and someone chooses to publish the truth, there is no liability.

    Finally, it appears that under Snyder v. Phelps, publication was “legal.” “While these messages may fall short of refined social or political
    commentary, the issues they highlight — the political and moral conduct
    of the United States and its citizens, the fate of our Nation,
    homosexuality in the military, and scandals involving the Catholic
    clergy — are matters of public import.” Abortions, especially late-term abortions, are matters of public import whether you approve or not, and whether a family wants to keep information private or not.

  • CS

    No, you sometimes seek an attorney AFTER someone does something evil to you, as would be the case here. I’m saying that disclosing the identity of this woman in the middle of this tragedy was evil – regardless of whether it was legal or not.

  • CS

    Now you’ve got a relevant & recent case, good work! But the facts are different here because we are talking about a disclosure of medical/ death info that may have violated a state law or HIPPA. We don’t have most those facts and we don’t know how it would turn out. But it is an interesting question. I’m glad I saw this post about the tweet. Kind of makes me want to look into what state’s law would be most favorable on this just for kicks. Maybe this could go to the Supremes!

  • CS

    Well, if the Atlantic says to retire that phrase, I guess I’d better! Jeff should still understand that there are restrictions on speech and not go around yelling, “kill abortionists!” if that is a more apt example.

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  • t-dahlgren

    Why the edit?

  • Wombat_socho

    I got tired of it trolling the commentariat and thought it minimally polite to indicate this before deleting all its posts from the ends of the threads.

  • Adjoran

    Actually, the 1st Amendment takes no position on yelling “fire” in a theatre, despite the comment by Mr Justice Holmes, who merely was pointing out there is no absolute right or idemnification for speech in all cases, Zippy.

  • Roxeanne de Luca

    I will never understand why these allegedly “Catholic” schools keep giving fellowships and scholarships to these chastity-hating, abortion-loving whack jobs. There’s precious reason to let them in the door, let alone give them extra goodies.

  • Adjoran

    I don’t hate women. Just stupid liberals.

    You baby-killing monster.

  • Adjoran

    You have a funny view of what is “evil.”

    And when I say “funny,” I mean severely perverse.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Guys, I got that part. I agree with that completely.

  • Esau’s Message

    In no way, did I assert that these cases would be dispositive. But you have no idea where any such putative case would actually be filed or what state’s law would control. (E.g., where does Jill Stanek live?) But the general principles for IIED and invasion of privacy do not differ greatly from state to state. And under those general principles, no one has a case against Jill Stanek. (Notice too that the facts in this case quite closely track the Stanek-Morbelli situation.)

    If you want to cite cases from Maryland or New York that provide a different outcome, please do so.

  • Esau’s Message

    In no way, did I assert that these cases would be dispositive. But you have no idea where any such putative case would actually be filed or what state’s law would control. (E.g., where does Jill Stanek live?) But the general principles for IIED and invasion of privacy do not differ greatly from state to state. And under those general principles, no one has a case against Jill Stanek. (Notice too that the facts in this case quite closely track the Stanek-Morbelli situation.)

    If you want to cite cases from Maryland or New York that provide a different outcome, please do so.

  • Esau’s Message

    That’s right. Fail one factor and you’re out.

  • Esau’s Message

    I never argued that these cases were controlling. No suit has been filed anywhere, no governing law has been chosen. I simply provided actual examples from real cases applying the general principles governing IIED and invasion of privacy to actual facts. Provide counterexamples to support your dismissal of my comment as inapt.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Come on, Adj, you know damn well that the meaning of the word ‘Evil’ is subject to one’s feelings at any given moment – get with the program, comrade!

  • Esau’s Message

    Correct, provide cases from NY or MD which track the facts we know in the Stanek-Morbelli situation.

  • Esau’s Message

    I have no problem with anyone seeking legal advice, but I doubt the family will find a lawyer in any jurisdiction who’ll advise them they have a good case against Stanek. (If I were the Morbellis, I would not consult Dunlap.) I doubt Stanek needs to consult with a lawyer, so long as she is honest and diligent in her reporting and is investigating a matter of public concern. Carhart’s negligence is clearly a matter of public concern.

  • Esau’s Message

    Barker v Richmond Newspapers is an example of exactly that. Take a look.

  • CS

    Wasn’t me. Was it something I said?

  • CS

    Oh, I see. The censor doesn’t like me. Well, thanks for the interesting discussion, those of you who were willing to engage with someone who doesn’t agree with you. Looks like I’ll have to go somewhere that allows disagreement.

  • Eric Ashley

    I support Wombat’s right to choose to abort CS’ blathering. 🙂

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