WASHINGTON, D.C. (21 February 2008) – Pro-life witnesses outside the Planned Parenthood in Lynchburg, Virginia are being harassed because they're videotaping.
Even so, American Life League encourages pro-lifers to continue legal videotaping at Planned Parenthood protests.
"People should not have a reasonable expectation of privacy when they are visible to the naked eye and are outside. If someone stands on the public sidewalk and videotapes people in a parking lot, that does not invade anyone's privacy," said Andrew Flusche, staff attorney at American Life League. Flusche added, "Based on these basic principles, Virginia law does not prevent videotaping outside Planned Parenthood clinics."
The Lynchburg city attorney told the press that clinic patrons could file civil lawsuits claiming infliction of emotional distress.
However, Flusche commented, "The Virginia Supreme Court follows the standard rule for this tort. The actor must have engaged in 'outrageous and intolerable' conduct that was intended to bring about 'severe' emotional distress. If Planned Parenthood clients filed lawsuits against videographers based on this theory, they would most likely be dismissed."
“American Life League works with activists at 152 Planned Parenthood locations around the country and we have dealt with issues like this in the past. We strongly recommend that pro-lifers legally videotape their protest activities to protect themselves,” Flusche concluded.
Released 21 Feb 08