Beliefnet News

A pro-life activist who has engaged in sidewalk counseling for 14 years has been taken to court by the federal Department of Justice. The complaint to the court submitted by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice alleges that the elderly Richard Retta non-violently obstructed a woman from entering Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, an abortion facility.

The shocked veteran pro-life activist told LifeSiteNews on Tuesday he was unaware that the lawsuit had been filed against him, and that he had not been informed by the Department of Justice. He is seeking legal counsel before making a public statement.

Department of Justice is demanding that Retta be fined $10,000, that a permanent 20 foot bubble zone be placed around the clinic barring pro-lifers, and that Retta pay an additional fine of $15,000 in equal parts to the three ‘victims’ of his actions, which the DoJ argues were contrary to the Freedom of Access to Clinic Act (FACE).

 The  video was made by Peter Shinn’s Pro-Life Unity, in which Retta can be seen in action on a day where the lives of six unborn children were saved. In the video Retta can be seen walking with a woman leaving the clinic, offering what is described as post-abortion help. 

Shinn, the President of Pro-Life Unity and Cherish Life Ministries, told LifeSiteNews, “I’ve been out to the Planned Parenthood with Dick a number of times and Dick has always exhibited compassion for the women going in to have abortions and asking them to turn away from what he knows will kill their child and cause emotional harm to them afterwards.  He is in no way aggressive nor does he block women from entering.”


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