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BAIRD v. STATE

January 9, 1989

BILL BAIRD
v.
STATE POLICE OFFICER EUGENE BIAGIOTTI, and UNNAMED POLICE OFFICER, sued in their official and individual capacity



The opinion of the court was delivered by: NEWCOMER

 CLARENCE C. NEWCOMER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

 Plaintiff filed this action alleging a violation of his first amendment rights and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to a stipulation between the parties, the unnamed police officer was dismissed from his action prior to trial. After a bench trial, the court will enter judgment in favor of the defendant Biagiotti based on the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law made in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(a).

 Findings of Fact

 1. Plaintiff Bill Baird has been a lifelong advocate of the right of individual reproductive freedom. As a result of his dedication throughout the last 25 years, plaintiff has been involved in several successful legal challenges to secure reproductive freedom for unmarried persons in Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438, 31 L. Ed. 2d 349, 92 S. Ct. 1029 (1972) and for minors in Bellotti v. Baird, 428 U.S. 132, 49 L. Ed. 2d 844, 96 S. Ct. 2857 (1976).

 2. In 1964, plaintiff founded the Bill Baird Institute offering reproductive health counseling.

 3. Plaintiff acquired a picture of a naked woman lying on the floor, who allegedly had died as a result of an attempt to abort herself prior to the legalization of abortion. Plaintiff has used this photograph previously in expressing his views that abortion is, and should remain, a legal option available to pregnant women.

 4. When plaintiff learned that individuals opposed to reproductive freedom planned to prevent women from obtaining abortion services during the week of July 4, 1988, by blockading various abortion clinic entrances in the Philadelphia area, he decided to come to Philadelphia to act as a one-person counter-vigil. On the morning of Tuesday, July 5, 1988, plaintiff arrived at the Paoli Women's Center which had been targeted by anti-abortionists calling themselves "Operation Rescue." Plaintiff brought the above-mentioned poster with him in order to communicate his opposition to the conduct of these individuals.

 6. On that day, defendant Biagiotti, a Community Relations Officer of the Pennsylvania State Police since 1970, was assisting the Tredyffrin Township Police Department by observing and monitoring the demonstration. Although in plain clothes, defendant had the power to make arrests.

 7. Plaintiff was not arrested on July 5, 1988.

 8. Plaintiff arrived at the Clinic at approximately 7:30 a.m. and stayed until approximately 6:00 p.m.

 9. Plaintiff was able to move freely about the Clinic parking lot, and driveways throughout the day.

 10. Plaintiff was not prohibited in any manner from conversing with anyone about his pro-choice views.

 11. Plaintiff was not prohibited in any manner from distributing any literature to anyone regarding his pro-choice views.

 12. Plaintiff was not prohibited in any manner from being interviewed by the media throughout the day.

 13. Approximately 150-200 anti-abortionist demonstrators who were arrested and released, came back and remained outside the ...


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