Doctor gets injunction against anti-abortion protestors

Tex Med. 1993 Jul;89(7):28.


PIP: Efforts are being made by a Dallas, Texas, obstetrician, Norman Thompkins, to secure a permanent injunction from the temporary injunction that limits the duration, volume, and number of antiabortion protests outside his home and stipulates the time of day for picketing at his home and place of work. Harassing phone calls, trespassing on the physician's property, and remaining near the house between sunset and sunrise were strictly prohibited. The order also forbids the defendants from directing others to perform the aforementioned activities. The case was heard by District Judge Harry Hopkins, who also indicated that violators will be subject to contempt of court charges and held in jail until the Judge decides that the injunction will be obeyed. A separate complaint was filed against protestors that seeks damages. Both cases are being represented by Windle Turley, whose firm also cooperated with the Dallas City Council in drafting an ordinance restricting picketing with intent to harass. This May, 1994, was the first time the ordinance was enforced. The abortion protestors had been picketing Dr. Tompkins home, office, and church since October 1992. Dallas Pro-Life Action Network had targeted Dr. Tompkins and at least five other Dallas area physicians, who after the picketing ceased performing abortions and signed agreements to cease performing abortions. Mrs. Tompkins reported that threats were made directly to her life. A witness testified that the antiabortion groups were cult-like and that violence, as occurred in Florida, was expected. The lawyer for the defendants, Charles Bundren, reported that free speech rights on public property were being infringed upon due to this injunction. Mr. Turley said that there is no freedom of speech when it is used as a persistent tool to harass, abuse, and hurt people.

Publication types

  • News

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Legal*
  • Adult
  • Civil Disorders / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Civil Rights / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Texas
  • Violence*