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 Breitbart.com. 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.

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Comments

  • http://profiles.google.com/rob5136 Rob Crawford

    If she had died during cosmetic surgery — or even medically necessary surgery — the left would be 100% behind a trial lawyer making his millions off her blood.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Bravo, Stacy!

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    If you have neighbors or relatives who annoy you or interfere with your privacy, why can’t you have the right to abort them? It should be a matter of choice.

  • ThomasD

    What private facts about the family are alleged to have been disclosed? None, this story is about the deceased.

    And it being rather hard to show damages to the reputation of someone who is no longer living. These ‘attorneys’ are decidedly mendacious, if not shameless.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Why is it wrong for people to sue doctors when they legitimately screw up? I understand your argument Rob (and I apologize for going off topic) and no doubt there are some trial lawyers who put their own interests above those of their clients, but most do not. Suing a doctor is hard in most states (it requires expert testimony and juries are far more sympathetic to doctors than a few John Edward stories would have you believe and defense verdicts are common). The burden is high on the plaintiff.

    There are those on the right who have no problem with injured people suing bad doctors on legitimate claims.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Stacy knows a good issue and is pursuing it!

  • ThomasD

    Reading that Mail story it is fascinating to see how the author will employ violent terminology to describe the anti-abortion side – who “lay siege” to a clinic, and who have placed Carhart in their “cross-hairs” – while minimizing or euphemising the reality of what happened inside Carhart’s business.

    Also, no one has yet noted the bitter irony that Maryland was once established as a refuge for Catholics in the largely Protestant and anti-Catholic colonies.

  • gloogle gloogle

    Well, Bridgette certainly already sounds like your typical overly-litigious lawyer. Do they still teach 1st Amendment con law in law school???

  • Mm

    Bridgette needs to review her tort law.
    An element of IIED, in the states where such a claim is even allowed, includes outrageosness, such that the average person would exclaim, “that’s outrageous!” The typical case is usually the improper disposition of a loved one’s remains, NOT reporting on a death. The death of a healthy 29 year old woman in an apparently botched abortion is also not a private matter. Bridgette’s concern for “privacy” could also be interpreted as the desire of a self-proclaimed “activist” and “contraception zealot” as a desire to keep this quiet and sweep it under the rug. So much for womens’ rights.

  • ThomasD

    Bridgette is not acting on ignorance of the particulars of tort law, she and her cohorts are exploiting lay ignorance.

    Which would otherwise be considered unethical behavior, but that too gets a pass when the ‘higher good’ is involved.

    Unless that higher good is icky stuff, like saving babies and/or souls.

  • http://twitter.com/ThatChristyChic Christy Waters

    If the “pro-choice” crowd wanted to add legitimacy to their cause, they’d be going after Carhart, as well. After all, one of their primary slogans is “SAFE and legal”. However, Stacy pointed out a few days ago that the left hates babies, so as long as there’s a dead baby in the scenario, that makes the butchery OK… in spite of the woman’s death.

    Meanwhile in TX, a pregnant teenager is suing her parents to prevent them from forcing her to have an abortion. So, let me get this straight. If a teen wants an abortion, she can have one without the parents knowledge or permission, but if the teen wants to have the baby, the parents can force her to have an abortion. OK, got it.
    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/13/pregnant-tx-teen-sues-parents-to-prevent-them-from-forcing-her-to-abort-baby/

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    All the matters to the Left are the political ends. Individuals are merely eggs in the Utopian omelet.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    ‘Con’ being the operative word.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Thanks for the legal explanation.

    Sadly, as I’m sure Mzzz. Dunlap would tell you if she ever decided to utter an honest breath: ‘We Leftists don’t need no stinkin’ Rule Of Law!’

  • CS

    The defendants would certainly be free to make the argument in court that working to identify the deceased based on the surveillance of protestors, publishing her name and the alleged details of her medical treatment, and using her personal photos on the internet is not “outrageous.”

  • CS

    Which state’s law do you think would apply and why don’t you think the family could state a claim?

  • Mm

    Sure, they could argue that, ’cause the so-called defendants have a legal duty not to protest, they have a legal duty not to disclose publicly available medical info, they have a legal duty not to “surveil” people who appear on public sidewalks, and they have a duty not to reproduce photos and name names that already appear on the internet, posted by the family. Oh, wait, NO they DON’T. Nice try, though.

  • dwduck

    I think he’s just pointing out more hypocrisy in the left’s treatment of real doctors vs. abortionists.

  • Esau’s Message

    I agree. She needs to finish law school, pass the bar and get some experience in practice before she starts popping off about legal concepts she simply does not understand. There’s no intentional infliction of emotional distress and no invasion of privacy under any state’s laws arising from truthful reporting of the facts in a matter of public concern.

  • Mm

    Her profile indicates that she graduated last year and her bar admission is pending.

  • Esau’s Message

    Here you go:

    “the plaintiff may not recover because the public interest in an event of public or general concern (the commission of a crime of violence) truthfully reported as news justifies any invasion of the privacy of a private individual.”

    “Here, unfortunately, the plaintiff was the victim of a crime and was thrust into view of the public eye unwillingly. The event was one of legitimate public interest and the publication of her name and address is logically connected therewith and is not a violation of her legal right of privacy. The right of the individual to privacy is limited by the public’s right to have a free dissemination of news and information.”

    Barker v. Richmond Newspapers, Inc., 14 Va. Cir. 421 (1973)

  • Esau’s Message

    Good for her. Now maybe it’s time for her to learn some actual law.

  • Esau’s Message

    Here’s another:

    “We stated that emotional distress resulting from a non-tactile tort may be compensated if the plaintiff alleges, and proves by clear and convincing evidence, that: the wrongdoer’s conduct is intentional or reckless; the conduct is outrageous and intolerable; the alleged wrongful conduct and emotional distress are causally connected; and, the distress is severe.”

    Russo v. White, 241 Va. 23, 26, 400 S.E.2d 160, 162 (1991)

    Reporting the news is neither outrageous or intolerable. The family’s distress over the death cannot be distinguished by clear and convincing evidence from its distress over the reporting, ergo no causal link.

  • Mm

    The key language here being “non-tactile tort.” For the non-lawyers, that means that only in very rare, tightly defined circumstances can you bring an independent action for IIED, one unaccompanied by a physical tort. Jill Stanek, et al, have not committed a physical tort against the family.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Notice all those conditions are connected by “and” – meaning all must be satisfied before compensation can even be considered.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Another example of how affirmative action has diluted the rigor of our law schools – but at least the dumb, mouthy, liberal female category is adequately represented, eh?

  • ThomasD

    A claim for what?

    But haven’t we been down this very same road elsewhere on this blog? You were the one who declined to make your case, prattling on about not providing legal educations an all that.

    Why don’t you explain where NY law does provide recourse for the family?

    And do try to be specific this time. Because in the absence of a supportable case it is readily apparent that both you and Dunlap are just dishonest blustering bullies.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rob5136 Rob Crawford

    What dwduck said.

  • ThomasD

    Aren’t you getting that exactly backwards, isn’t the burden on the plaintiff to establish that any disclosures were indeed outrageous?

  • CS

    Yeah, these Virginia cases would clearly be dispositive of a case about events that took place in Maryland (and beyond) with plaintiffs from NY. You are quite the legal eagle.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rob5136 Rob Crawford

    You do understand what the constant there is, don’t you?

  • CS

    Her identity wasn’t publicly available until Jill Stanek published it. Whether there is a claim, for what tort and how strong it would be would depend on the law of the state where the family sued and facts we don’t know yet about how Stanek got her information, how accurate it is, why she published it etc. Sorry armchair lawyers, but you can’t tell yet.

  • CS

    I didn’t say they had the burden, they could make that argument if they had to defend against a claim. They could also argue the deceased woman’s name and photo are a matter of public concern.

  • CS

    RSM says she is a student, so Dunlap must be lying in her profile.

  • Mm

    Yes, it was, to all the people who saw her walk in and out of the abortion clinic for three days in a row. Her family had an obituary published. Putting the pieces of a puzzle together is not a tort, and there was no duty not to divulge her identity on the part of Stanek or anyone else who was not her doctor. Shady Grove Adventist hospital released her medical info. Her family released an obituary. Stanek put two and two together, which is called “reporting.”

  • CS

    I don’t know the facts and I don’t know which state’s law would apply. But Dunlap is right insofar as the family should talk to a tort lawyer. Jill Stanek et al should talk to a lawyer too before the next time they want to tell the world that a private citizen had an abortion or any other medical issue.

  • CS

    Disclosing private info, even if you put the pieces together yourself, can in fact be a tort. If you are right that the hospital released her info, they are in deep deep trouble. But I find it highly unlikely you are right about that, so you may want to consider the trustworthiness of wherever you are getting your information.

  • CS

    Gee, I don’t know why they say people who want to criminalize abortion hate women.

  • http://twitter.com/ThatChristyChic Christy Waters

    Of course.

  • CS

    All she said was the family should look into it. And they should.

  • Mm

    The newspaper? The Washington Post. Story by Jeff Quinton. Hospitals release info like this all the time, without naming names. Public’s right to know and all. As for the law, this is not a case of doxing.

  • CS

    Yeah, the First Amendment is absolute. That is why you are allowed to yell “fire!” in a crowded theater and defame people to your heart’s content. So many legal eagles around here.

  • CS

    Robert, the plaintiff would be the family, not Dunlap. You are not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  • Mm

    So, intemperate language in a blog comment and illusory breach of privacy claims are more important than both a dead 29 year old woman and getting to the bottom of alleged malpractice by her doctor. Keep on fighting the good fight. I am woman, here me roar. If you are pro choice and pro woman, you should be at the front of the line demanding an investigation into this. Instead, you are concern trolling. Gee, I wonder why people say that leftists hate women and babies.

  • CS

    Also, the law treats the NYT publishing national security info differently than Jill Stanek telling the world a private citizen had an abortion. Maybe you should google before you write?

  • CS

    Dude, if there was malpractice the family should go after him. But they should be able to do it in peace and on their own terms. Or in public IF that is what they want. Maybe they don’t have a legal case, who knows at this point. Either way it was evil to do this to them.

  • CS

    Uh, “without naming names” is my point. And what does it not being doxing have to do with anything? Although, that is a useful analogy, thanks.

  • Mm

    Newspapers and gossip rags publish exposés on celebrity plastic surgery,
    i.e., a medical procedure, all the time. There is even a blog with before and after pictures. Suzanne Somers had her
    liposuction splashed all over the front pages, and was forced into
    revealing her breast cancer diagnosis. Personally, I
    think this is awful, but there are a lot of things that I think are
    awful and for which there are no causes of action. There is no duty to withhold the names of juvenile defendants or that of victims. That is black letter SCOTUS law. No duty, no cause of action.

  • t-dahlgren

    As opposed to reporting that someone died following a procedure, which gets reported quite frequently.

  • t-dahlgren

    A tort which you shamelessly yet steadfastly refuse to establish in any of it’s particulars.

    Be honest, you cannot be a lawyer.