WICHITA — A Kansas anti-abortion activist is facing trial in federal court this week over a letter she sent to a Wichita physician saying someone might place an explosive under the doctor’s car.
Opening statements are expected Tuesday in the government’s civil lawsuit against anti-abortion activist Angel Dillard under a federal law aimed at protecting access to abortion services. Jurors must decide whether the letter constitutes a “true threat.”
The defense has argued the letter was constitutionally protected speech.
The Justice Department sued Dillard in 2011 for sending the letter to Dr. Mila Means, who had been training to offer abortions. At the time, no doctor was performing abortions in Wichita in the wake of the 2009 slaying of Dr. George Tiller by an anti-abortion zealot.