Anti-Abortion Activists Distributed 2 Planned Parenthood Providers' Names & Home Addresses On Flyers
An anti-abortion advocacy group sent flyers with the home addresses of Planned Parenthood doctors who perform abortions at clinics in Indiana and Kentucky, The Indianapolis Star reported on Friday. The Dallas-based anti-abortion group Operation Save America sent the flyers (including the two doctors' names and home addresses) to their neighbors ahead of their conference in Indianapolis this weekend.
"This was intended to let the neighborhood know that someone in their neighborhood makes their living by killing children," pastor James Farrar told the newspaper. His parish, Aletheia Church in Indianapolis, is one of the weekend event's hosts. "We hope that we would generate pressure from neighbors like an awareness campaign, so people realize that these people are living right around you."
The Indianapolis Star reported that neighbors were not surprised by the contents of the mailer. Lilia Judson told the newspaper that she was mailed one of the flyers last week, but that the doctor and their family are well-known in the neighborhood. Judston said there was no return address on the plain envelope.
"They did not have the decency to put a return address on either of the envelopes, so they don’t mind bothering folks in their homes or in their neighborhoods but they don't have the gall to put their own location on the envelopes," Judson told The Indianapolis Star. "These folks I think have caused a lot of animus to themselves because this is a very nice neighborhood."
Judson told the newspaper that the neighborhood didn't want the protesters to come into their homes. "They can go downtown and protest all they want, we don't want them in our neighborhood."
Operation Save America (OSA) has a history of targeting abortion providers, especially this specific division of Planned Parenthood. In November 2017, the anti-abortion group passed out flyers with the home address of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky CEO Christie Gillespie. But according to Indianapolis Star last year, the flyers — which read "Christie Gillespie murders children. Christie Gillespie lives in our neighborhood" — had the wrong address.
Gillespie had sold the house earlier in 2017, according to the newspaper. There were still about 50 protesters were marching outside of the house as a part of the campaign, according to The Indianapolis Star.
More recently, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Fort Wayne, Indiana was forced to permanently close because of repeated harassment. Gillespie said the Allen County Right To Life in Indiana was to blame. (Cathie Humbarger, the executive director of Allen County Right to Life, said the organization doesn't "practice or condone intimidation," but the group was "pleased" by closing, according to The Associated Press.)
The clinic does not perform abortions, and its patients were referred to clinics at least 70 miles away, according to Rewire News, a nonprofit news organization that covers reproductive justice. "This harassment goes well beyond the ritual protesting. It includes publicly sharing personal information, including home addresses of staff," Gillespie said in a press conference announcing the closure at the beginning of July.
The harassment and targeting fit into a larger pattern of harassment and trespassing that abortion clinics are their workers have experienced for years. The National Abortion Federation issued a report about violence against abortion providers in 2017 and found there were three times as many incidents at clinics as there were last year.