HotSpots for July 1–31, 2009

HotSpots is a summary of incidents of harassment and violence directed at Planned Parenthood affiliates, national offices, and other reproductive health care providers, produced monthly by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.

New Mexico  07/31/09  Someone drew a cross on the front door of a Planned Parenthood health center.

Georgia  07/31/09  A regular protester violated the buffer zone at a Planned Parenthood health center twice in one week. An incident report was filed with the sheriff’s office.

Colorado  7/28/09  Staff at a Planned Parenthood health center found an anti-choice pamphlet on a table in their waiting room.

Indiana  07/27/09  The waste disposal company that contracts with a Planned Parenthood health center received a letter from an anti-choice protester demanding to know details of their disposal practices.

Colorado  07/26/09  The aluminum exit stairs for the new emergency exit at a Planned Parenthood health center were stolen.

New York  07/23/09  A floral delivery driver was accosted by protesters as he exited a Planned Parenthood health center.

Montana  07/16/09 & 07/24/09  Two threatening voice mails were received at a Planned Parenthood health center. They sounded like they were made by the same caller.

Nevada  07/15/09–07/22/09  Operation Save America’s annual summer event was held here. Planned Parenthood has three health centers here and there are several abortion clinics, including both NAF members and independent clinics. The numbers attending this protest decline every year, but they continue to waste local law enforcement resources, irritate local residents, and harass patients. This year there were well under 100 participants at all events and often less than 50.

New York  07/14/09  Staff arriving at a Planned Parenthood health center discovered vandals had dragged the affiliate’s bike rack across the grass onto the sidewalk, and torn down the barriers (stakes and tape) placed to prevent access to newly laid sod on the lawn.

California  07/13/09  Two calls were received at a health center threatening an imminent bomb explosion, but nothing suspicious was found.

Massachusetts  07/10/09  The First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2007 Massachusetts law banning protesters from a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics. The ruling stated that the law does not infringe on the free speech rights of protesters and was passed in response to “repeated incidents involving violence and other unduly aggressive behaviors in the vicinity of reproductive health care facilities,” and was a “permissible response by the Massachusetts Legislature to what it reasonably perceived as a significant threat to public safety.”

Kansas  07/09/09  A truck accompanied by a gold SUV and a gold sedan drove through the parking lot of a bank adjacent to a Planned Parenthood health center. When the truck’s driver and passenger exited and approached the health center they were informed that they must remain on the public sidewalk. They videotaped the staff in the parking lot and the building, then left. Local law enforcement was notified, and provided additional surveillance for the remainder of the day.

Texas  07/06/09  A sign for a Planned Parenthood annual sex education event was stolen from in front of a church, and “Planned Parenthood Kills Babies. Embrace Jesus not murders [sic]” was written on the sidewalk in chalk. Local and federal law enforcement were notified.

Indiana  07/04/09  Protesters returned  at approximately 8:00 p.m. to the home of a Planned Parenthood staff member that had been picketed before. One was arrested for disorderly conduct; two had handguns (with permits). This incident is being investigated by local and federal law enforcement.

California  07/01/09 & 07/08/09  An anti-choice extremist has begun leading protests at a Planned Parenthood health center. The protests feature graphic photos and a very large sign that says “America Calls It Choice. God Calls It Murder.” The local school board voted to allow teens to access health centers during school hours without notifying parents, and this may have sparked the increased protest activity.

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