Pro-life activist Ryan Bomberger published an article in LifeNews criticizing the NAACP's pro-choice stance and calling it the "National Association for the Abortion of Colored People." The NAACP, one of the nation's oldest and largest civil rights groups, has threatened to sue Bomberger and LifeNews, claiming the phrase is a trademark infringement.
The NAACP was founded in 1909 as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to fight race discrimination. Today, it is more commonly known as simply, NAACP.
In the Jan. 16 LifeNews article titled, "NAACP: National Association for the Abortion of Colored People," Bomberger complains that the NAACP has supported Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider and an advocate for legal abortions.
"They'll beat the drums of economic, social and environmental 'justice' while over 360,000 black babies, annually, never get a chance at one of the few Constitutional rights that actually exist – the right to Life," Bomberger wrote.
Besides the title, the satirical rephrasing of the NAACP original name was used in this sentence, "The National Association for the Abortion of Colored People has no moral ground to stand upon, just quick sand oozing with the blood of those most discriminated against." The NAACP logo was used as an image in the article.
On Jan. 16, a law firm representing the NAACP sent a letter to Bomberger and LifeNews founder and editor Steven Ertelt asking that the satirical rephrasing of its name be removed. The article infringed upon the NAACP's trademark, which is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the letter claims.
"While you are certainly entitled to express your viewpoint, you cannot do so in connection with a name that infringes on the NAACP's rights," they wrote.
If the "National Association for the Abortion of Colored People" references and mock logo are not removed within seven days, the letter stated, "the NAACP will take the appropriate steps to stop your infringing activities and obtain appropriate damages."
The seven day notice ended on Feb. 4. On Feb. 6, Ertelt posted an article about the lawsuit threat and posted a copy of the letter on its website. The original article had not been removed or modified at the time of this publication. The Radiance Foundation, where Bomberger is co-founder and chief creative officer, also posted an article about the lawsuit and a copy of the letter.
According to Ertelt, Bomberger has asked a federal court to declare that his freedom of speech under the First Amendment would protect him from any trademark infringement lawsuit by the NAACP.
"It is ironic that a black man is being sued by the nation's oldest civil rights group for exercising his most basic civil right -- the freedom of speech," Bomberger told LifeNews. "This threat of legal action from the NAACP is nothing more than a multi-million dollar organization's attempt to bully someone who's simply telling the truth. Our inner-cities are crumbling, two-parent married families barely exist, 72.3 percent of our children are born into homes without fathers, and the NAACP wants to silence me for pointing out its support of abortion."
The Radiance Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to "illuminate the intrinsic value each person possesses." Besides blogging for LifeNews, Bomberger also has a blog on The Christian Post's bloggers website.