Last week The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported six pro-life activists will stand trial on November 2 for trespassing at Little Rock Family Planning Services.
According to police reports, the trespassing occurred on January 15, 2021.
Little Rock police arrested a group of pro-life activists blocking the entrance at Little Rock Family Planning Services — Arkansas’ only surgical abortion facility.
At least six police cruisers and numerous officers responded to the situation and arrested the pro-lifers while an estimated 30 pro-life advocates prayed and protested from the public sidewalks outside the facility.
Family Council obtained redacted police reports and audio recordings following the incident.
Incident reports from January of 2021 show LRPD arrested Eva Ech, 85, of South Carolina; Chet Gallagher, 74, of Tennessee; Dennis Green, 54, of Virginia; Calvin Zastrow, 60, of Michigan; Emily Nurnberg, 46, of Kansas; Heather Iddoni, 56, of Michigan; and a 14 year old minor. Police reports indicate that the pro-lifers were blocking the front entrance to the abortion facility and did not leave the area when told to do so by law enforcement. As a result, all seven were arrested and charged with criminal trespass.
Below is video of some of the arrests along with audio recordings from dispatch and police.
Police have been called to Little Rock Family Planning many times over the years — typically due to pro-lifers encountering close calls with vehicles outside the facility.
One of the facility’s owners, Natalie Tvedten, was charged with First Degree Assault for allegedly trying to strike pro-lifers with her vehicle while they prayed on the public easement outside Little Rock Family Planning Services on July 13, 2021.
Tvedten was found not guilty last month.
Although it isn’t very common, this is not the first time that pro-lifers have been arrested for blocking an abortion facility entrance in Little Rock.
On July 8, 1994, Little Rock police arrested 29 people from Operation Rescue. The individuals had traveled to Little Rock, where they blocked the entrance to an abortion facility that Dr. Mose Smith operated down the street from War Memorial Stadium; that facility has long since shut down.
As we said in July of 1994, Family Council agrees with stopping abortion through any legal means. We’ve never utilized the more aggressive tactics that some groups use. The folks from out of state who came to Little Rock last year and Family Council both have a mutual goal of ending abortion. That’s what matters to us.
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has reversed Roe v. Wade and abortion is prohibited in Arkansas except to save the life of the mother, Little Rock Family Planning Services has stopped performing abortions. The facility reports on its website that it will close effective September 1 of this year.