Jilted Ex-boyfriend Puts Up Abortion Billboard

Lacye - posted on 06/08/2011 ( 63 moms have responded )

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ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man's decision to lash out with a billboard ad saying his ex-girlfriend had an abortion against his wishes has touched off a legal debate over free speech and privacy rights.
The sign on Alamogordo's main thoroughfare shows 35-year-old Greg Fultz holding the outline of an infant. The text reads, "This Would Have Been A Picture Of My 2-Month Old Baby If The Mother Had Decided To Not KILL Our Child!"
Fultz's ex-girlfriend has taken him to court for harassment and violation of privacy. A domestic court official has recommended the billboard be removed.
But Fultz's attorney argues the order violates his client's free speech rights.
"As distasteful and offensive as the sign may be to some, for over 200 years in this country the First Amendment protects distasteful and offensive speech," Todd Holmes said.
The woman's friends say she had a miscarriage, not an abortion, according to a report in the Albuquerque Journal.
Holmes disputes that, saying his case is based on the accuracy of his client's statement.
"My argument is: What Fultz said is the truth," Holmes said.
The woman's lawyer said she had not discussed the pregnancy with her client. But for Ellen Jessen, whether her client had a miscarriage or an abortion is not the point. The central issue is her client's privacy and the fact that the billboard has caused severe emotional distress, Jessen said.
"Her private life is not a matter of public interest," she told the Alamogordo Daily News.
Jessen says her client's ex-boyfriend has crossed the line.
"Nobody is stopping him from talking about father's rights. ... but a person can't invade someone's private life."
For his part, Holmes invoked the U.S. Supreme Court decision from earlier this year concerning the Westboro Baptist Church, which is known for its anti-gay protests at military funerals and other high-profile events. He believes the high court's decision to allow the protests, as hurtful as they are, is grounds for his client to put up the abortion billboard.
"Very unpopular offensive speech," he told the Alamogordo Daily News. "The Supreme Court, in an 8 to 1 decision, said that is protected speech."
Holmes says he is going to fight the order to remove the billboard through a District Court appeal.

http://beta.news.yahoo.com/jilted-ex-boy...

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

JL - posted on 06/09/2011

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I have been doing some research on this. This dude is sketchy to say the least. From what I have found the dude is 35 and the woman is only 18. He has admitted that he is NOT even sure if she even had an abortion and when he first put up the ad he had it originally associated with an organization he created himself that went put into an acronym spelled out the woman's first name. Originally he had that acronym that spells out her name on the billboard.

The guy won't even fully explain what exactly it is that he really believes when it comes to questioning his stance on abortion rights. One of the major abortion rights groups that were backing the ad from the beginning pulled out after they spoke to him and realized he had no clear stance on abortion rights and that he was unsure how he even felt about the subject. If closure is what this man wanted a billboard ad will NOT ever give him that. If he wanted to make a statement about men's rights he should have been clear about what the hell his ex had done in the first place and how he really feels about the subject.

The details that are slowly coming out the more he speaks to interviewers is starting to come across with the fact that this is more about a man being angry that he was jilted by his ex and that is why the media is taking that spin. In fact it almost comes across like a older man harassing a teenager. Friends are also reporting that he had wanted to marry this 18 year old woman and she refused and was wanting this man to leave her alone. He did not want to end the relationship and was very angry to the point where he was harassing her. I am not sure this man has the intention of being a pro-life advocate. The pro-life organization Right to Life New Mexico questioned his intentions as well.

Ez - posted on 06/08/2011

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Ok yes, it looks like a real pro-life ad (not that I''ve ever seen such a thing in Aus). And yes he may well have the constitutional right to free speech. But I'm actually really surprised that so many of you are defending this douchebag. What he has done is childish and spiteful. We don't know this woman's reasons for aborting (if that is indeed what happened). Like Cathy said, he may be an abusive prick (which I would believe after this debacle). She may have some sort of medical or psychological issue. Or yes, she may have just decided she did not want to continue with the pregnancy.



Many of these posts are implying that there are all these women 'killing' (yay for inflammatory language) babies while the poor fathers-to-be look on helplessly. How about the assholes who try and force women INTO having an abortion (like my ex)? If a I had the right to stand up to him and say no, because it's my body and my choice, the same must be said for the alternative. We can't have it both ways. So unless you (general you) want to see women forced into unwanted terminations by the fathers, reproductive rights must remain as they are.

JL - posted on 06/09/2011

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I just read some of his past twitter account posts. His comments making jokes about violence toward ex girl friends. Disgusting.

But to get back on topic I DO believe in FREEDOM OF SPEECH. I am all for the legal right to put up bulletins. If I was his ex I wouldn't have sued the guy because he has freedom of speech to do what he did but I would have exposed things about him. I never said he didn't have a right but whenever someone makes themselves a spokesperson for something of course I look into that person. Whenever I read articles I research beyond to find out about every fact. I WANT to know about the guy because he is being supported by pro-life organizations as a spokesperson for them. Just as I am for free speech even stupid free speech, even untruthful free speech which may be the case here I am also for my right to look into the person displaying their opinions loud and clear. When you exercise your free speech so loudly expect people to have opinions about it. When you make yourself a public spokesperson like he has you will be looked at for what you have done and said in all areas of your life. He has a donation page up to have people help pay for his legal defense. I think people should research the man he is and the things he has done and said before they throw their money at him.

[deleted account]

Not only is the media hyping it up, he was an ordinary Joe Schmo up until a few days ago. Only if you know the guy personally, and the circumstances behind the story (ya konw, her side, his side, the truth!) everyone interprets the billboard differently.

Some can say it is a pro-life/anti-abortion billboard
Some say it's a seeknig revenge billboard
Some say it's message of father's rights
Some simply don't give a shit

But for the fact that the guy was anonymous and the ex-gf brought attention to the matter, she is to blame for her own negative publicity! She's making herself a poster child! The guy....he never outed her.

[deleted account]

I'm with Dana S. on this one. He didn't mention her by name and the only reason it's widely known now that it was about her is because SHE brought attention to herself. I'm also very pro choice, but I also think that fathers have rights too. It's a very slippery slope and I find myself somewhere in between. A woman's body, a woman's choice. Yes. But a father has rights too, or at least I feel like he should. I dunno. I just know that when I saw this on Yahoo yesterday, my first reaction was to say, "Right on!"

63 Comments

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Amber - posted on 06/10/2011

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The original billboard put out for public viewing did. The acronym was later removed, but that doesn't mean it wasn't up.
It obviously did hold up in court, because it's been ordered down. So, I would assume that there are more facts that haven't been printed yet.

Dana - posted on 06/10/2011

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The billboard that is out in the viewing public isn't connected to her name at all.

None of these reasons being put forth would hold up in court. That's the bottom line.

Amber - posted on 06/10/2011

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"The original billboard had two endorsements that have since been removed. The first was from N.A.N.I., an organization Fultz created for pro-life issues that stands for National Association for Needed Information. The acronym also happens to be his ex-girlfriend’s first name."

Really? It didn't lead to her name in any way? I'd say that's leading to her name.

Amber - posted on 06/10/2011

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"The original billboard had two endorsements that have since been removed. The first was from N.A.N.I., an organization Fultz created for pro-life issues that stands for National Association for Needed Information. The acronym also happens to be his ex-girlfriend’s first name."



Really? It didn't lead to her name in any way? I'd say that's leading to her name.





*Edited to add*

In all the news reports that I've read, her name hasn't been mentioned once. The only reference is to the acronym. So, her identity is protected from the general public. The only people who know who she is, are the people who already knew. Being known as "the ex-girlfriend" isn't bringing more attention to her unless it's people who already knew her.

Dana - posted on 06/10/2011

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He never mentioned her name or led any thing to her name - whatsoever. How DID he violate her privacy?

Amber - posted on 06/10/2011

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In the United States, you can be found guilty of breaking privacy laws for the public disclosure.

"Public disclosure of private facts arises where one person reveals information which is not of public concern, and the release of which would offend a reasonable person. 'Unlike libel or slander, truth is not a defense for invasion of privacy.' Disclosure of private facts includes publishing or widespread dissemination of little-known, private facts that are non-newsworthy, not part of public records, public proceedings, not of public interest, and would be offensive to a reasonable person if made public"

Or if you publicly represent a person in false light:
"False light is a legal term that refers to a tort concerning privacy that is similar to the tort of defamation. For example, the privacy laws in the United States include a non-public person's right to privacy from publicity which puts them in a false light to the public."

So, how did he not violate her privacy?

Isobel - posted on 06/10/2011

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no...but it's the basis for an argument. (doesn't matter anyway cause you're allowed to do it in America)

Donna - posted on 06/10/2011

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well that could totally be taken 2 ways but it looks like the guy has intentions of getting back at the woman which is just flat out wrong. plus I dont think fathers have rights to their children untill they r born.

Isobel - posted on 06/10/2011

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also, in Canada because of our hate speech laws...it would have to be taken down if it was intended to cause people to attack this woman,,,I'm pretty sure that was exactly his intent.

Isobel - posted on 06/10/2011

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I haven't read everything yet, but from my understanding, libel has a negative burden of proof. I think that the onus is not on her to prove that she had a miscarriage, the onus is on the person who made the ad to prove that his statement is true. (which of course he can't do without breaking the law and getting medical records).



You don't have to name a person for it to be libel either...there just has to be an obvious reference to which people would reasonably know it was her.



Gotta come down IMHO :)

Lucy - posted on 06/10/2011

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I agree with Dana- If she had a miscarriage, he was a creep harassing her etc, it makes him a douche bag in my eyes, but he's still entitled to free speech.

Dana - posted on 06/09/2011

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No technically he has the freedom of speech to say whatever he wants, whether it's true or not. If that weren't the case, half of the media would be F-ed.

Stacey - posted on 06/09/2011

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ok, so i understand the free speech thing, BUT if she really did have a miscarriage, wouldn't that change the freedom of speech thing and couldn't she go after him and get that billboard taken down? because then it wouldn't be an abortion thing, right?

[deleted account]

Taking this for what it is i dont see anything wrong with it and dont the bulletin should be taken down. I think it is clever and kind of cool. And i really dont think the girls privacy was invaded in any way., And if the story is really true then i feel bad for the guy seems like he really wanted his baby

Dana - posted on 06/09/2011

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Yes, Holly, I'm not even bothering to look at the abortion angle. I'm looking at the free speech angle. People need to be able to separate the two.

[deleted account]

Honeslty, to me it's not even about abortion. It's about the guy's right to free speech - he didn't put her name on there (or at least not in a way that people would know) and he didn't point fingers in the ad. Her privacy wasn't infringed upon until SHE made a big stink about it. Driving down the road, I would think it's a pro-life or father's rights ad. SHE is the one to proclaim to the world that it's against a specific person. Honeslty, I don't give a flying you-know-what about what actually happened (their ages, abortion, etc.). The issue is that he has a right to put the ad up because of his free speech.

JL - posted on 06/09/2011

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No we still don't know the whole truth and from reading his words I am not even sure he even knows what is going on. He seems to be in his own world enforced by his assumptions. I know this is bad to stay but he comes off a bit creepy. I dislike the fact that laws may be interrupted and affected by this case when the man involved is not the best or reliable poster person for men's rights when it comes to questions regarding reproduction.

JL - posted on 06/09/2011

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Now in newer interviews I just read he is saying NO she wanted to get married and she gave him an ultimatum to marry him and for him to commit to their relationship and having a child. He says he was not interested in doing that so she moved away to Wisconsin for work and they stopped speaking completely to each other and when she came back she was no longer pregnant. He said he didn't know what had happened he just assumed that she might have had an abortion. What I gather is these TWO were in a relationship BEYOND dysfunctional and communication was NOT part of their relationship more like hostile attacks and assumptions being made that have now been brought to the public. He could have handled this in a more mature manner. You know what they say when you assume something.

Dana - posted on 06/09/2011

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It's not that I'm defending this guy. My point is we don't know that he actually did this to BE spiteful. He may have very well done it because he's pro-life and wanted to help his cause for something he believes in. What's more powerful than a man who has actually had his child aborted when he disagrees with it? - it's great for the pro-life movement and could have nothing to do with revenge or spite. The only reason that that angle is brought up is because of the article. So is it even true or is it media sensualization? We truly don't know.

Cynthia - posted on 06/08/2011

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i don't think it is right or fair that the woman has the only say in the life that 2 people created. i honestly think killing a baby should be up to the court. i think a judge should make the call after hearing from both people involved. i am siding with the man here. this is the only way laws change.

Chasity - posted on 06/08/2011

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I hate this subject cause I do not think its right for a woman to chose what she does with another life.... tomorrow I may go drown my kid cause they give me headachs

Amber - posted on 06/08/2011

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They can't sue for slander because it wasn't verbal, it would only be libel.

But lawyers do things like this all the time. When they want to get a specific law set by judicial precedence, then they specifically don't ask clients questions they don't want answers to. It doesn't mean any thing about the woman. One of the very first things they taught me in law classes was to not ask a question that you didn't want/know an answer to and, further than that, to tell your client that you don't want to know.

In law, it's all about setting up a case that you think you can win and that is in line with your agenda. In this case, it seems the lawyers agenda is privacy laws...and I would guess that's due to the fact that they are setting the foundation for defense against anti-abortion laws. That's why they call lawyers sharks....it's not about this one case, but how it affects cases in the future too.

Rosie - posted on 06/08/2011

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he's an asshole that's for sure. still not sure she's able to sue for slander. someone mentioned if he was telling lies about her, he might be able too. however it could be his opinion that she killed the baby if she had a miscarriage and not an abortion. she could've partied to much or something and lost the baby. in his mind she would've killed the baby, idk. the whole thing is stupid. why be such a psycho and do that? it screams cuckoo to me.

Stifler's - posted on 06/08/2011

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I agree, the law protects distasteful and offensive speech. How sad that he felt the need to do this.

Dana - posted on 06/08/2011

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I would like to know if he's really trying to get revenge or if it's the media/article writer sensationalizing it.

Joanna - posted on 06/08/2011

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I think it is distasteful of him to "get revenge", I think he could have dealt with his issues in a more adult manner, like even getting involved in a pro-life organization in a different way, not screaming "my girlfriend killed my baby" to the world. But, freedom of speech, not against the law.

Dana - posted on 06/08/2011

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Yes, that and the fact that the lawyer says that he and his client haven't talked about her pregnancy...bullshit. If this were completely false they'd have more of a leg to stand on.

[deleted account]

Just a side note... The fact that she sued him for harassment and violation of privacy and NOT slander tells me she probably had the abortion. Slander is ONLY slander of what is being said is FALSE. Therefore, if she really had a miscarriage and not an abortion I would think she would sue for slander and not violation of privacy... And I'm sure her lawyer knows that too...

Emma - posted on 06/08/2011

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Yeah that's true. It does completely depend on the details of this situation. We will probably never know the truth!
It's true that reproductive rights are a tricky area. Every case is different and has it's own circumstances!

Tasha - posted on 06/08/2011

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Well there is no personal information about the woman, no name, email etc.. so really the only way anyone would know it was about her specifically is if he or she told someone. It seems this man is deeply hurt that he did not have a say in the birth of his baby, and in the end it is the womans decision, thats why we shouldnt go around having unprotected sex with people we dont want children with, or having unprotected sex period if you dont want kids. He obviously belives she had an abortion, if he knew she had a misscarage then why would he do this. If she had a misscariage then it is her duty to let the potential father know whats going on, if that was the case, im sure he would have been sad, but not out to get her for something that is not her fault, unless maybe she was drinking or doing drugs or something to cause a misscariage that we dont know about. Its a terrible situation, i feel sorry for the man, she either had an abortion without seriously talking about it with the father, or she had a misscariage without letting the father know to the extent that he feels she had an abortion. The woman doesnt deserve to be humiliated but she should accept resposibilty for making poor decisions, and have some sympathy for a man, who all he wanted was his child to be born.

Becky - posted on 06/08/2011

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I would've thought it was just a pro-life ad too. I do think it's distasteful for him to do something like that for revenge, but I don't think she has a case for invasion of privacy after seeing the billboard. She's the one who drew attention to the fact that it was directed at her.

Amber - posted on 06/08/2011

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I think that they fact that he is on the billboard makes it about her.

Agree to disagree :)

I also think that the man should have a say so. And I 100% advocate for father's rights. If it was an abortion, he has every right to be upset and it's sad that he doesn't get a say so. But I feel torn in two on that issue because it's her body, he doesn't have to be pregnant...reproduction rights are such a mess.

Emma - posted on 06/08/2011

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I don't see anything wrong with the ad. Free speech and all. He doesn't name her and it really does look like a pro-life ad rather than a revenge statement.
I think it's really sad. I try to put myself in his situation. If I was a bloke and my partner was pregnant and decided to get an adortion without giving me a choice or maybe without even telling me, I would be completely devastated! I absolutely believe men (in some cases) should be able to have a say in these types of decisions, afterall it is a decision as to whether to terminate his child too!

Dana - posted on 06/08/2011

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I disagree. I don't think it's about HER, I think it's about the loss of his child and his stance on pro-life.

The only indication that it's about her is because of who ever wrote the article, they've implied that.

Amber - posted on 06/08/2011

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I did look at it. But the very fact that he is on the billboard talking about her is what violates her privacy. I already said it doesn't matter that her name isn't personally up there, it's quite obviously about HER specifically.



She shouldn't have to lie because he invited public ridicule onto her. It's not his right to put her personal business out there to the world.



*Edited to add*

It's especially not his right because it's privileged medical information. SHE went to a doctor, for a miscarriage or abortion. That's private information.

Dana - posted on 06/08/2011

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Did you look at the billboard? It has no mention of her nor is it directed at her. It's a pro-life ad. Hell she could have lied and told people he got paid to do it.



And that's IF people even saw it and commented to her about it. Sounds like she's brought all this attention on herself.

Amber - posted on 06/08/2011

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We don't know what the truth is. He could be lying, or just not know. She could be lying. Unless the doctors release her files, we don't know.

And nobody said HE couldn't SPEAK about it. I said he shouldn't put it on a billboard and open the world up to HER private life. Talking to your friends about it is completely different than putting it out there for the entire world.

And if she had a miscarriage, don't you think this is just salt in an open wound for HER over the loss of HER child?

Dana - posted on 06/08/2011

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What information is false though? Because her friends say she miscarried... How many women tell all their friends that they got an abortion? I imagine some of them lie and say they miscarried.

But, that is besides the point. It's infringing on HIS rights to not be able to speak HIS mind about the loss of HIS child.

And to be clear, I'm pro-choice but, there's got to be a point where if you don't want other people telling you what to do, you can't run around telling others what they can and can not do either.

Amber - posted on 06/08/2011

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I'm going to say I think it should be taken down. It is still libel (written slander) even if they didn't say her name. He put his image up there and anybody who knew the woman would know that he was talking about her. You can't put false information about a person out there just because you're angry.
And as much as I hate the funeral protesters, this doesn't fall into the same category. This guy did something against a person that was hurtful. They do something against an institution that is hurtful, which is the reason it was upheld.

I do think the woman is an idiot for drawing more attention to the issue. And I think that if it was an abortion and not a miscarriage, that he should have gotten a say so. But he shouldn't have posted this billboard to call her out on it. It invades her privacy and I believe it's a violation of libel laws.

Dana - posted on 06/08/2011

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It's clearly a Pro-life ad. Her name was not mentioned. He's allowed to do what he wants. She's the idiot for drawing attention to herself.

[deleted account]

Basically it says the same thing, but it has a picture of the bilboard. In my opinion it really does look like an anti-abortion billboard - NOT a revenge one. It even looks like it's sponsored by an anti-abortion program!

I still stand by the woman was an idiot in filing the court charges because now she's made the WORLD know it's not JUST an anti-abortion ad.

Lacye - posted on 06/08/2011

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Yes Katherine. I'm that smooth! LOL

I agree though. He never said her name once. She was the one that took it to this amount of extreme.

Holly, thanks for putting up the other article. I'm not going to be able to read it until a little bit later but when I do I'm going to come back and say some more.

Katherine - posted on 06/08/2011

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Damn Layce, you beat me to it.



I think he has every right to have it up. Not only did she not ASK him if he wanted a say in it, she went ahead and did it against his feelings. Men don't get those rights which is really sad.

[deleted account]

Thanks for the link Holly.

Even loved this comment "I support men's reproductive rights! If my boyfriend ever got pregnant, I would support his right to do what he wants with it."

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