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(LifeSiteNews) — A Canadian judge has overruled an anti-SLAPP motion filed by a pro-abortion TikTok activist who is the subject of a temporary injunction for sabotaging the pro-life work of 40 Days for Life.

On September 30, a Toronto court ruled against an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) motion filed by Brooke Dietrich in May. The motion was meant to combat a temporary injunction in March when she was told to cease her online sabotage and defamation efforts against 40 Days for Life.

“I find there is credible evidence that 40 Days has suffered some harm as a result of the impugned TikTok videos and the related campaigns undertaken by the Defendants,” the judge ruled Friday. “I am satisfied that 40 Days has put forward evidence to support the relevant causal link between the harm suffered and the expression underlying its action.”

In March, 40 Days for Life won a temporary injunction against Dietrich. This injunction ordered her to cease her attempts to sabotage 40 Day’s for Life’s mission through videos she posted on TikTok. The court labeled Dietrich’s videos as “sabotage,” “attempted sabotage,” “interference,” and “harassment.”

Dietrich carried out the “harassment” by filling up online calendars meant to reserve spots for the 40 Days for Life prayer vigils and filling her online shopping cart on the 40 Days for Life Texas website so that people would be unable to purchase items. Using TikTok, Dietrich also encouraged other pro-abortion individuals to follow her example. She even went as far as to publish the personal information of 40 Days for Life personnel, encouraging her followers to contact them.

Matt Britton, who works for 40 Days for Life as an attorney, said the organization is involved in 63 countries across the world and is the “largest grassroots pro-life organization in the world.” Despite that fact, however, he said they “have never seen anyone do anything like this.”

Britton said that the case against Dietrich was not about changing her mind but protecting 40 Days for Life.

“We’re not trying to stop her from talking bad against us, or from being pro-choice or pro-abortion,” he said. “We’re trying to stop sabotage.”

Dietrich filed the anti-SLAPP motion, claiming that 40 Days for Life was trying to limit her free speech. Britton said she filed the motion despite 40 Days for Life’s offer to settle the case, which would merely require her to agree to stop sabotaging them. She refused. However, the court did not agree to her motion, saying 40 Days for Life did not want to silence Dietrich but merely to protect their organization from sabotage and undue harassment.

“The primary purpose of 40 Days commencing its action does not appear to be to silence Ms. Dietrich or the other Defendants on their pro-choice views,” the judge said. “Rather, the main motivation of 40 Days appears to be to protect its ability to organize its prayer vigils without undue disruption, to carry on its organizational activities without undue harassment, and to protect its reputation.”

Britton said, “We are 100% pro-life in all cases, but this case is not about abortion or pro-life — it’s about free speech. She used, as the judge said, sabotage, harassment, and intimidation and impugning our reputation to try and stop us from speaking what we believe and what’s on our mind. And you can say that, but you can’t go wreck property and destroy websites and things. And that’s the purpose of our lawsuit.”

Britton added that by filing this case 40 Days for Life is “ensuring the free speech, the free, peaceful, lawful speech, of everybody in Canada.”

The court ruled that, based on the evidence, Diedrich’s anti-SLAPP motion was irrelevant and that her actions against 40 Days for Life should not be tolerated.

“Based on the foregoing, I conclude that the harm suffered by 40 Days as a result of Ms. Dietrich’s expression is sufficiently serious that the public interest in permitting the proceeding to continue outweighs the public interest in protecting the impugned expression that gives rise to the proceeding.”

 

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