Anti-abortion activist Otis O'Neal "Neal" Horsley has filed a $250 million breach of contract suit against MindSpring Enterprises Inc. for shutting down his World Wide Web site, which featured pictures of aborted fetuses.
Horsley and his lawyer, John Matteson, said they filed the suit Tuesday in Gwinnett Superior Court. A copy of the suit was posted on Horsley's new Web site. Gwinnett officials could not be reached for independent verification.
Horsley alleges the Atlanta-based Internet company shut down his political campaign to stop legal abortion and his ability to gather financial support for the cause when it booted him off the Web in February.
MindSpring executives had not seen the suit as of late Wednesday afternoon and had no comment, says Kirsten Witt, the company's director of corporate communications.
MindSpring's review of the Web site came after an Oregon jury found some of Horsley's colleagues in the anti-abortion movement guilty of violating the federal access to abortion clinic law in January.
Horsley was not a defendant in the case but his Web site, called the Nuremberg Files, was a central element of the trial.
Horsley's site solicited information for the anti-abortion movement, such as where abortion doctors lived, their work habits, vehicle descriptions and tag numbers, places of worship and details about their families. He listed names of abortion doctors on the site.
The site gained notoriety when Horsley drew a line through the name of Bernard Slepian, a New York state doctor who performed abortions, after Slepian was murdered in his home by a sniper, according to news accounts.
"In the midst of international attention," with letters of support and donations rolling in, MindSpring without warning shut the site down, Horsley says.
Horsley quickly cast himself as being trampled by a large company, adding, "Corporations do not have the right to act as police."