FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22nd, 2008
Estonian Skeptics Society
MTÜ Eesti Skeptik
ESTONIAN SKEPTICS SOCIETY BEING SUED BY RELIGIOUS PRO-LIFE GROUP
Linking to and translating pro-choice expert opinions considered “a campaign of libel” by the group
The pro-life website abort.ee is claiming to be in the process of drafting a lawsuit against the Estonian Skeptics Society and its founder Martin Vällik for articles he published on the society’s website skeptik.ee. The articles in question criticized the display of graphic images of aborted fetuses on abort.ee and linked to and translated the opinions of several experts who claim that the graphic images displayed on pro-life websites have historically been fakes and/or misrepresentations. The lawsuit claim followed several cease & desist letters, which urged the Estonian Skeptics Society to take down “all articles on skeptik.ee accusing abort.ee with the display of non-authentic images”.
The websites which the Estonian Skeptics Society has referenced and partially translated for its articles in this matter include:
The Estonian Skeptics Society is seeking help and advice from people who have faced similar lawsuits or could help with expert testimony in this matter. The lawsuit isn’t very likely to go ahead, because Estonian law does not explicitly address libel between two corporate bodies and because the people behind abort.ee are claiming to be suing us in the Tallinn City Court, which hasn’t existed since January 1st 2006.
Abort.ee was created by the Christian groups Elukultuuri Instituut (Institute for the Culture of Life) and Miikaeli Ühendus. (Archangel Michael’s Union) It has ties with the pro-life group The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, (http://www.abortionno.org/) which is in violation of 9 out of 20 Better Business Bureau’s standards for Charity Accountability. CBR has come under fire for comparing Holocaust victims to aborted fetuses and is well-known for displaying graphic images of abortions and aborted fetuses. Gregg Cunningham, the head of CBR, has personally guaranteed to abort.ee to produce certificates of authenticity for the photos used as well as expert testimony from medical doctor and lawyer Anthony P. Levatino and others.
The abort.ee project was partially funded by the Estonian government. Lately government officials have distanced themselves from the project. Estonian Minister of Social Affairs Maret Maripuu said to Postimees, Estonia’s largest daily newspaper: “Abort.ee does not contain objective nor balanced information about avoiding and terminating pregnancy. The website presents a one-sided view and does not live up to what we hoped when we approved funding for the project.” (http://www.postimees.ee/160408/esileht/
Eesti Naisteühenduste Ümarlaud (Estonian Women’s Associations Round Table) and its leader Siiri Oviir have condemned abort.ee as a website “promoting religious and political views”. (http://www.postimees.ee/180408/esileht/
Estonian Skeptics Society grew out of a skeptical mailing list hosted by the University of Tartu and was officially founded by Martin Vällik and Elver Loho in early 2007. Today it hosts skeptical meetings and an active blog at www.skeptik.ee.
FURTHER INFORMATION: Martin Vällik /firstname.lastname@example.org/