Jury rules for Kansas abortion clinic operator in stalking case

Abortion law / Source: Wolfgang Moroder / CC BY-SA 3.0
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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A federal jury has sided with the operator of a Wichita abortion facility who contended she had reasonable grounds to seek a protection-from-stalking order against an abortion protester.

The verdict returned Tuesday follows a seven-day trial in the lawsuit filed by anti-abortion activist Mark Holick against clinic operator Julie Burkhart.

The lawsuit stems from anti-abortion protests in 2012 and 2013 in front of Burkhart's home and neighborhood. She got a temporary protection-from-stalking order against Holick that was dismissed two years later. He then sued her.

Jurors found Holick failed to prove his claim for malicious prosecution.

Burkhart says in a news release that she opened the clinic after Dr. George Tiller was killed for providing abortions. She says that's why she finds threats against her and her family "particularly chilling."