(CN) – A federal judge on Thursday refused to grant an injunction to a Kansas doctor who received a threatening letter after she began training to perform abortions in an area where such services have been unavailable since the 2009 assassination of Dr. George Tiller.
The government filed a civil complaint in Wichita on April 7, demanding injunctive relief against Angel Dillard. “Unless Defendant is restrained by this Court, Defendant will continue to engage in the illegal conduct averred herein,” the complaint states.
Dr. Mila Means is training to provide abortion services to women in Wichita. “Since Dr. Tiller’s murder, no physician has openly performed abortions in Wichita, Kansas,” according to the complaint.
Anti-abortionist Scott Roeder is currently serving a life sentence for murdering Tiller in the doctor’s church on May 31, 2009.
Despite national outrage following Tiller’s murder, Means, a family practitioner, has met a great deal of resistance from anti-abortion activists after going public with her plans to provide abortions in Wichita.
She said she felt threatened by a letter Dillard allegedly mailed to her on Jan. 15 of this year. The government included the typed letter and a scan of the envelope as a court exhibit.
“Maybe you don’t realize the consequences of killing the innocent,” the one-page, single-spaced letter states. “If Tiller could speak from hell, he would tell you what a soulless existence you are purposefully considering, all in the name of greed.
“Thousands of people are already looking into your background, not just in Wichita, but from all over the US,” it continues. “They will know your habits and routines. They will know where you shop, who your friends are, what you drive, where you live. You will be checking under your car everyday-because maybe today is the day someone places an explosive under it.”
In the closing paragraph, the author says: “I urge you to think very carefully about the choices you are making. … We will not let this abomination continue without doing everything we can to stop it.”
Dillard’s name is typed in the signature line of the letter and it appears again on a pre-printed address sticker affixed to the envelope carrying the letter.
The government sought an order barring Dillard from contacting Means in any way or coming within 250 feet of the doctor and her property. It also seeks $5,000 in damages and a $15,000 penalty.
In a one-page order on Thursday, U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten denied the government’s motion for a preliminary injunction.