Group Files Lawsuit Against Planned Parenthood Clinic on Behalf of Pro-Life Protester

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - A legal group filed a civil lawsuit Friday against Washington, D.C. Planned Parenthood and a security guard on behalf of a pro-life college student who claims he was tackled and injured while trying to exercise his First Amendment rights outside an abortion clinic in 2004.

The American Center for Law and Justice filed the suit on behalf of Daniel Heenan, a Virginia resident who attends Christendom College in Front Royal, Va.

According to the lawsuit, Heenan, was injured by a security guard who tackled him to the ground in May 2004 while he was taking part in Saturday prayer vigils and sidewalk counseling outside the clinic on 16th Street NW in the nation's capital.

"It is simply unacceptable for citizens of the United States, who are on public property, to be tackled or knocked to the ground by security guards," said Jim Henderson, senior counsel in the ACLJ's Washington office.

"In this case, a college -aged Catholic sidewalk counselor was attacked from behind and thrown to the ground on a public sidewalk for no other reason than seeking to offer his message of hope and help to women approaching the Planned Parenthood facility," added Henderson.

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