Mixed results in trial of abortion protester | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Mixed results in trial of abortion protester

Posted By on Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 8:06 AM

Anti-abortion protester Scott Skarda, a Hazen preacher, was tried last week in Little Rock District Court on a charge that he harassed a woman who attempts to shield patients at an abortion clinic from Skarda's protests. He was acquitted on one charge, found guilty of another.

Skarda reiterated in court the defense he offered that was published here at the time Karen Musick sought an arrest warrant. She said he, among others, grabbed a cellphone she was using to record his actions and an umbrella. He contended she'd shoved the phone in his face and tried to poke someone with the umbrella she uses to shield women.

A special judge acquitted Skarda of the harassment charge after hearing conflicting testimony. The judge found him guilty of violating a no-contact order for attempting to communicate with Musick, according to the account in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Having observed the protesters at Planned Parenthood events, I can understand a negative reaction to their tactics. It is easy to believe a woman facing a difficult medical decision might feel harassed. Skarda insists that's not his intention.

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