Chalk another one up for the innovative use of catfish bait!
Abortion Opponent Loses Stink Bomb Lawsuit
Posted on: Wednesday, 11 June 2008, 03:00 CDT
A local anti-abortion activist lost a small-claims lawsuit Tuesday when a judge ruled he was not damaged when a security officer used a “stink bomb” to ward anti-abortion volunteers away from a Wichita abortion clinic.
Mark Gietzen chairman of the Kansas Coalition for Life, sought $4,000 in damages from John Rayburn and his company, Diamond Security, for the Sept. 20 incident.
But Judge Steven Woodring ruled that Gietzen failed to show that he suffered any damages because of the incident outside George Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services clinic.
“The judge ruled that Tiller has the right to stink bomb us if he wants to as long as the stink bomb is on his property,” Gietzen said. “I fully expect it to be used on us again.”
Rayburn declined to comment on the case, but evidence at the trial showed that the “stink bomb” consisted of foul-smelling catfish bait.
The lawsuit said the incident prompted many stay-at-home moms who brought young children to the clinic to stop coming.
“Word of this hostile incident caused an unknown number of would-be on-site pro-life volunteers… to decline volunteer service, thereby costing the plaintiff time and expense to advertise for other replacement volunteers,” the lawsuit said.
Gietzen said he didn’t plan to appeal the ruling because he could end up having to pay attorney fees on both sides of the case.
But he said he planned to contact his City Council representative and county commissioner to ask them to make the use of stink bombs illegal.
“I’m not going to let this go,” he said.