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Anti-Abortion Extremist Denied Appeal on Order to Shut Down Websites

Anti-abortion extremist, William Purdy, was denied an “emergency request” to maintain anti-abortion Web sites with names similar to those of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Washington Post, McDonalds and other well-known entities. The Eighth US Circuit Court of Appeals denied Purdy’s motion to block a lower court’s order that he shut down 30 sites with domain names similar to NOW and others which are linked to abortionismurder.org – a site featuring gruesome photographs of purported aborted fetuses. Purdy claims that he will appeal the original decision, issued by US District Judge Ann Montgomery, all the way to the US Supreme Court, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier this month, five of the targeted entities – including CocaCola Co., PepsiCo Inc., McDonalds Corp. and Washington Post Co. – filed a joint lawsuit against Purdy to stop him from using Internet domain names that are “identical or confusingly similar” in order to direct viewers to his anti-abortion site. 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.

Sources:

Kaisernetwork.org 8/1/02; Associated Press 7/31/02; Feminist News 7/12/02