The letter goes on to say, "Maybe you don’t realize the consequences of killing the innocent. If [Dr. George] Tiller could speak from hell, he would tell you what a soulless existence you are purposefully considering, all in the name of greed.” It further states, “I urge you to think very carefully about the choices you are making. . . . We will not let this abomination continue without doing everything we can to stop it.”
The letter is the focus of witness testimony. Dr. Means took the stand to talk about it's effect on her life. She said she decided to start training to do abortions when she saw how great of a need there was among her patients. She said she did not believe it was fair that women, especially those who cannot afford it, would have to drive 300 miles to access a service they have a legal right to receive.
Means said she got the letter after her office manager read it and decided to alert her, as well as the police. Means said the language of the letter made her anxious and concerned. Prosecutors asked her what she thought the letter meant when it talked about doing everything to stop her.
"Their idea of everything is murdering people," she told the court, talking about anti-abortion activists.
Despite the letter, Dr. Means said she is undeterred in her mission to provide abortions in the Wichita area, but said she is changing her daily behavior. She made security changes to her practice on Harry and said she is not comfortable staying there late without her staff around. She said she also changes her route when she drives home that she often does not stay at home because she no longer feels safe there.
Dr. Means also talked about her relationship with the late Dr. Tiller. She called him "a mentor and very admired colleague". Tiller was gunned down at his church in 2009. Means said that she wants to open her own clinic to fill the services gap left by his death.
Means testified that she believes the intention of the letter is to be threatening. But the defense disagrees, saying it is more of a general warning.
Dillard's defense maintains that Dillard was only writing things that Means has already heard from her family and friends, concerns about what could happen if she were to become an abortion provider.
"There is nothing that says Angel will do it," Dillard's defense told the judge.
He said that Means is taking pieces of the letter out of context. He said it contains only vague phrases that don't imply illegal measures.
"It is too general to be considered a threat," he said.
He also talked about his client's history, saying that she has never protested outside of an abortion clinic.
"This woman wrote one letter and did nothing else before or since," he said.
Dillard did not take the stand.
The judge agreed with the defense and denied the request for the injunction. The judge said the letter did not contain direct threats and was protected by free speech. But he scolded Dillard, saying she had her toe on the line of what is and is not considered a threat.
After the ruling, Means said she is still going to keep her guard up. But she said she is undeterred in her desire to open an abortion clinic. She is starting a non-profit to help secure the funding to build the clinic. She believes that is still at least 12-18 months away.