On Thursday, Planned Parenthood’s criminal charges against a veteran pro-life sidewalk counsellor in Missouri were dismissed in Boone County Circuit Court.
Kathy Thebo Forck, campaign director for 40 Days for Life in Columbia, was arrested for trespassing on July 24, 2012, when she offered water to a truck driver in blazing 100°F heat. Forck had approached the driver of a Stericycle truck as he was leaving the abortion facility. Planned Parenthood accused Forck of stepping onto their property and had her arrested.
“Dismissal of the false trespass charges against Ms. Forck is a victory both for justice and for the pro-life movement,” said Daniel Baker, special counsel for the Chicago-based Thomas More Society, which represented Forck. “Ms. Forck has successfully helped to eliminate abortions from being offered at the Columbia Planned Parenthood facility through her peaceful sidewalk counseling, and this does not warrant bogus charges being hurled at her in retaliation.”
Forck was first declared guilty at a trial in Columbia Municipal Court, but Baker, from Cox & Associates, LLC, in Sedalia, Missouri, appealed the ruling to the Circuit Court.
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After hearing the testimony of Planned Parenthood's witnesses and watching the security camera footage allegedly documenting the trespass, Circuit Court Judge Gary Oxenhandler declared sternly that Planned Parenthood and the City of Columbia simply did not have the evidence to prove their case.
“We applaud the Judge's ruling to release Ms. Forck from spurious charges that were trumped up on the basis of conflicting, patently false testimony,” remarked Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society. “It is an honor to defend innocent, pro-life heroes like Kathy Forck.”
Also affiliated with Sidewalk Advocates for Life, Forck continues to peacefully offer sidewalk counseling to abortion-bound women at the Columbia, Missouri, Planned Parenthood facility. Years of sidewalk counseling and prayer vigils in Columbia have proven effective, as in February, the Columbia Planned Parenthood lost its license and ceased providing abortions.