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Anti-Abortion Extremist Accused of “Cybersquatting”

Over the past week, anti-abortion extremist William Purdy has bought 30 Internet domain names that are slight variations of organizations he considers to be pro-choice, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Purdy then links these 30 sites to abortionismurder.org – a site featuring gruesome photographs of purported aborted fetuses. Among the 30 organizations Prudy targeted are the National Organization for Women (NOW), Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, the Minneapolis public schools, Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Several of these groups, including NOW, are considering legal action against Prudy. “It’s typical of the behavior of the anti-abortion zealots,” NOW President Kim Gandy told the Sun-Times. “Lies and misrepresentations are part of their stock in trade.”

Since 1998, 16 lawsuits have been filed against abortionismurder.org by organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the Brookings Institution, with charges of cybersquatting – using their organizations in phony domain names that actually take viewers to the anti-abortion site. Despite protections against such activity granted to trademarked domain names under the Anti-Cybersquatting Act, Purdy claims that his actions are protected under the First Amendment. Purdy, who describes himself as an “abortion abolitionist,” has been arrested but not convicted several times for shouting anti-abortion slogans at former President Bill Clinton, presidential candidate Micahel Dukakis and others, according to the Sun-Times.

Sources:

Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 7/11/02; Chicago Sun-Times 7/11/02

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