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Judge Keeps Woman’s Records Off Net

August 23, 2001

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ A judge Wednesday ordered three anti-abortion activists to stop publishing a woman’s medical records detailing complications from an abortion.

The woman was treated at St. Elizabeth hospital in Granite City in June after suffering complications from an abortion at the Hope Clinic for Women.

Daniel and Angela Michael of Highland, who are regular protesters at the clinic, admitted they took pictures of the woman as she was taken to the hospital’s emergency room.

Soon after, a copy of the woman’s medical records, her photograph and an article written by Angela Michael about the case appeared on a Web site operated by Stephen Wetzel of Omaha, Neb.

The woman sued Wetzel, the Michaels and the hospital for violation of privacy, seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

Judge George Moran temporarily barred the Michaels and Wetzel from publishing the material. Other anti-abortion Web sites have also posted it.

While her photo and medical records appeared to have been removed from the Internet Wednesday, an article written by Angela Michael containing much of the same information remained on a separate anti-abortion Web site.

Wetzel did not appear in court Wednesday and did not return repeated telephone calls by The Associated Press. The Michaels said they provided photographs and information to Wetzel, but never intended to embarrass the woman or violate her privacy.

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