Activism

Pro-lifer arrested under false charges files suit against Michigan abortion facility

On November 22, a pro-lifer filed a lawsuit against Northland Family Planning Clinic in Westland, Michigan, against the City of Westland, and against the local police department, stating she was arrested under false charges at the abortion facility in August of 2016.

The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) reports that Kimberley Thames was praying silently, holding a sign and a rosary, on the sidewalk of Northland Family Planning on August 27, 2016. A Catholic nun was also present. Thames states she engaged the facility’s security guard in conversation that day, “assuring him that she was praying for him as well as the unborn babies.  She also told the guard that she would pray he would find another job—a job that would protect life, not defend death.” That appears to be when things took a wrong turn. AFLC states:

The guard appeared agitated by Ms. Thames’ suggestion, claiming that his job was “fine” and that he was there to protect everyone.  Ms. Thames told the guard that she was happy to hear that he would protect her as well.  She had never heard this from the other guards.

Thames then stated she left the site to use a nearby store’s restroom only to return to find Westland police officers were at the abortion facility to greet her:

One of the officers approached Ms. Thames and asked her if she told the security guard that she was going to bomb the clinic.  Ms. Thames emphatically rejected such an absurd accusation.

Unbeknownst to Ms. Thames, a Northland employee and the security guard called 911 and made a false claim that Ms. Thames was threatening to bomb the Northland facility.

AFLC states that officers confronted Thames and searched her vehicle, finding nothing suspicious. The nun who was present was reportedly not questioned, although she was said to have attempted to intervene to tell officers that the charges were false. Despite this, AFLC says officers arrested Thames on site for “making terrorist threats.” Thames was taken to jail where she claims to have been mistreated for three days before being released after “a city detective finally took the time to review the case, correctly concluding that no crime was committed.”

The CEO of Northland Family Planning, Renee Chelian, is one of the parties being sued by Thames. Chelian was caught on one of last year’s Center for Medical Progress videos joking with National Abortion Federation conference attendees about wanting to burn fetal remains in a field (due to the difficulty of finding a company willing to dispose of the facility’s aborted baby remains). Chelian also joked about wanting to give women back their aborted babies in a gift bag, saying, “It’s their pregnancy, and why is this our problem?”

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