|LIFE LEGAL DEFENSE FOUNDATION|
|P.O. Box 2105, Napa, California 94558 — 707.224.6675|
|NEWS RELEASE||December 15, 2008|
|Contact:||Dana Cody, Executive Director|
D.A. CONSPIRES WITH CITY, ABORTIONISTS TO SILENCE PRO-LIFER
City Attorney Calls Obstruction by Pro-Aborts “Creative”
OAKLAND, Calif.—More details emerged Friday of the scheme by government officials and abortion providers to silence pro-life advocate Walter Hoye of Berkeley. At a pre-trial readiness hearing in Oakland Superior Court, the Alameda County district attorney demanded that Rev. Hoye plead guilty to one misdemeanor count and agree to stay away from a local abortion clinic for an unspecified period of time in exchange for dismissing three other bogus criminal charges against him. Rev. Hoye refused and will go to trial next week.
Rev. Hoye, who is African-American, feels a special calling to work for the end of the genocide-by-abortion taking place in the African-American community. As part of his efforts, he stands in front of an abortion clinic in Oakland with leaflets about abortion alternatives and a sign reading, “Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help.”
Rev. Hoye’s peaceful witness enrages the cadre of clinic “escorts,” who surround him to impede his movement, block his sign with large sheets of blank cardboard, and make raucous noise to drown out his quiet offers of assistance.
As this interference did not deter Rev. Hoye, the clinic then worked with Oakland city council members to pass a “Mother May I” ordinance, prohibiting approaching within eight feet of women entering abortion clinics without their consent. The penalty for illegally approaching a person to talk or hand out a leaflet is one year in jail and/or a $2000 fine.
On May 13, 2008, Rev. Hoye was arrested for allegedly violating the ordinance. One of the witnesses against him was an Oakland city attorney who was secretly watching from a car. In an e-mail to the clinic director, the city attorney said the escorts’ use of signs to block Rev. Hoye “was creative and seemed to be effective.”
The district attorney then expanded the complaint to include four counts, two for “unlawful” approaches and two for allegedly using “force, threat of force, or physical obstruction” against two of the clinic escorts. At a pre-trial hearing in July, Rev. Hoye’s attorneys cross-examined these “victims.” The escorts admitted that Rev. Hoye never used force against them, threatened them, or blocked them. They proudly testified that they routinely block Rev. Hoye to prevent patients from seeing his sign. Nevertheless, the DA has not dismissed the charges against Rev. Hoye.
“The district attorney’s office appears to be using these trumped-up charges as leverage to pressure Rev. Hoye into giving up his free speech rights,” said Hoye’s attorney Mike Millen. “The threat of four years in jail is a potent one, but my client is more interested in getting the truth out, both on the sidewalk and in the courtroom.”
Rev. Hoye will be back in court on Friday, December 19, 2008, where a trial date will be set.
Life Legal Defense Foundation was established in 1989, and is a non-profit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens, committed to the sanctity of human life. For more information, call Dana Cody at 916.727.4396.