The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity v. Dickson and Right to Life East Texas, No. 21-0978 and Dickson and Right to Life East Texas v. Afiya Center and East Texas Access Fund, No. 21-1039.
Two Texas Courts of Appeals held divergent views of whether incendiary exchanges between pro-life and pro-choice groups could be actionable in defamation. The Supreme Court of Texas has held that these advocates’ statements are not allegations of fact, but of opinion concerning matters of law and policy, making the rhetoric core political speech, protected by both the Texas and U.S. Constitutions. As such, they are not actionable in defamation, as permitting such claims to go forward would chill protected speech.
The court noted that the term “murder” is freely employed in several social justice arenas, such as war, capital punishment, and animal rights.
With this question resolved, post-Dobbs‘ ‘debates’ will no doubt rage on, in Texas and likely elsewhere, with no apparent end in sight.