Pro-Life Activist Barred From Abortion Clinic; Files Counter-Suit

By Joanne M. Haas | July 7, 2008 | 8:19 PM EDT

Madison, Wisconsin ( - A pro-life activist charged in a harassment case stemming from a December incident at an abortion clinic has filed a counter-suit seeking damages and a jury trial.

The counter-suit for defendant William Goodman was filed by the Thomas More Center for Law & Justice based in Ann Arbor, Mich. It was filed with Dane County Circuit Court Judge Moria Krueger Thursday.

Krueger two days earlier granted a temporary injunction prohibiting Goodman's trespass at the Madison Abortion Clinic at Meriter Hospital, which is seeking a harassment restraining order to keep him from coming within 100 feet of the facility.

Goodman was arrested Dec. 8 after he allegedly violated an earlier order and entered the clinic to "save the children." He and other man had been arrested in 1998 and were ordered to stay out of the facility.

Court records state that Goodman described himself as a full-time volunteer engaging in peaceful advocacy work daily since 1998.

Other court documents charge that Goodman entered the facility, allegedly gave pro-life material to the receptionist and described himself as a friend of Dennis Christensen, the 58-year-old doctor of the clinic.

The receptionist notified clinic staff member Kimberly Christensen, who then realized it was Goodman. Goodman contends she forcibly restrained him until a security guard arrived.

Pamela J. Scott, a Meriter medical assistant, said in a statement that she could hear Kimberly Christensen "call for security. She sounded very frightened. Mr. Goodman was shouting about his opinions on abortion and related medical care."

Christensen said in her statement to the court that Goodman had used threatening statements to her in previous conversations. According to her statement, Goodman allegedly said, "I know who you are. I know what kind of car you drive."

Goodman did admit in a statement that he has had some brief exchanges with Christensen.

Jolene May, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told the court she has known Goodman for about three years and believes him to be a non-violent man.

A scheduling conference has been slated for April.