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I don't feel it is since the girlfriend was neither named nor pictured. Bad taste, maybe but not an invasion of privacy to me.
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man's decision to lash out with a billboard ad saying his ex-girlfriend had an abortion against his wishes has touched off a legal debate over free speech and privacy rights.
The sign on Alamogordo's main thoroughfare shows 35-year-old Greg Fultz holding the outline of an infant. The text reads, "This Would Have Been A Picture Of My 2-Month Old Baby If The Mother Had Decided To Not KILL Our Child!"
Fultz's ex-girlfriend has taken him to court for harassment and violation of privacy. A domestic court official has recommended the billboard be removed.
But Fultz's attorney argues the order violates his client's free speech rights.
"As distasteful and offensive as the sign may be to some, for over 200 years in this country the First Amendment protects distasteful and offensive speech," Todd Holmes said.
The woman's friends say she had a miscarriage, not an abortion, according to a report in the Albuquerque Journal.
Holmes disputes that, saying his case is based on the accuracy of his client's statement.
"My argument is: What Fultz said is the truth," Holmes said.
The woman's lawyer said she had not discussed the pregnancy with her client. But for Ellen Jessen, whether her client had a miscarriage or an abortion is not the point. The central issue is her client's privacy and the fact that the billboard has caused severe emotional distress, Jessen said.
"Her private life is not a matter of public interest," she told the Alamogordo Daily News.
Jessen says her client's ex-boyfriend has crossed the line.
"Nobody is stopping him from talking about father's rights. ... but a person can't invade someone's private life."
For his part, Holmes invoked the U.S. Supreme Court decision from earlier this year concerning the Westboro Baptist Church, which is known for its anti-gay protests at military funerals and other high-profile events. He believes the high court's decision to allow the protests, as hurtful as they are, is grounds for his client to put up the abortion billboard.
"Very unpopular offensive speech," he told the Alamogordo Daily News. "The Supreme Court, in an 8 to 1 decision, said that is protected speech."
Holmes says he is going to fight the order to remove the billboard through a District Court appeal.
Read 'Jilted ex-boyfriend puts up abortion billboard' on Yahoo! News. A New Mexico man's decision to lash out with a billboard ad saying his ex-girlfriend had an abortion against his wishes has touched off a legal debate over free speech and privacy rights.
Live On University!
Really difficult situation, but if this is true that guy is horrible.
"The woman's friends say she had a miscarriage, not an abortion, according to a report in the Albuquerque Journal."
The only way to evaluate this fairly is to ask this question. Is the ex girlfriend hot?
If yes, then it's an invasion of privacy.
If no, then it's not an invasion of privacy.
This post was edited by SoonerInTN on 3/25/2013 at 6:29 PM
Did he mention her name on the bill board? Or did it include her likeness without her permission?
I'm on the fence on this deal. Certainly he could have confided those facts to anyone he wanted to without breaking the law...but putting it on a billboard seems like a move with the intent to harm someone's character.
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