Thomas More Society defends sidewalk counselor arrested for giving water to truck driver
(July 18, 2014 – Columbia, MO) – Yesterday in Boone County Circuit Court, Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler dismissed criminal charges against Kathy Thebo Forck, veteran pro-life sidewalk counselor and campaign director of 40 Days for Life, Columbia. On July 24, 2012, in blazing 100°F heat, Ms. Forck had approached a Stericycle truck driver who was leaving Planned Parenthood to offer him a bottle of water. Planned Parenthood accused Ms. Forck of stepping onto their property and had Ms. Forck 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, Thomas More Society special counsel. “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.”
Ms. Forck was first declared guilty at a trial in Columbia Municipal Court, but her attorney from the Chicago-based Thomas More Society, special counsel Daniel Baker from Law Office of Cox & Associates, LLC, in Sedalia, Missouri, appealed the ruling to the Circuit Court.
After hearing the testimony of Planned Parenthood’s witnesses and watching the security camera footage allegedly documenting the trespass, Circuit Court Judge 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 has been an honor to defend innocent, pro-life heroes like Kathy Forck.”
Also affiliated with Sidewalk Advocates for Life, Ms. Forck continues to offer peaceful sidewalk counseling to abortion-bound women at the Columbia, Missouri, Planned Parenthood facility. After years of sidewalk counseling and prayer vigils in Columbia, Planned Parenthood lost its license in February, 2014, and had to cease providing abortions there, instead referring clients to another facility.