HotSpots for June 1–30, 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.

Kentucky  06/29/09  A roofer looking for the source of a leak at a Planned Parenthood health center discovered a bullet hole in the roof.

Colorado  06/27/09  An unknown male protester climbed a ladder outside the fence of a Planned Parenthood site and shouted harassing and intimidating things at patients.

California  06/27/09  Four protesters were seen at a Planned Parenthood health center. All appeared to be in their 20s. There were no incidents.

New Mexico  06/25/09  A Planned Parenthood site received a threatening phone call that seemed to be a recording. One of the statements appeared to be a threat to bomb the site.

Colorado  06/25/09  A Planned Parenthood health center received a call from a man asking to speak to the health center manager by name, claiming to be from a local business. The caller left a voice mail for the manager, stating that he didn’t agree with our mission and intended to “drive Planned Parenthood out of town.”

California  06/24/09  A motorist was arrested on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly deliberately swerved his car into the protesters outside a Planned Parenthood health center. A protester sustained minor injuries.

Arizona  06/22/09  A Planned Parenthood staff member found severe tire damage on her car. The same employee reported previous tire damage that occurred while her car was in the affiliate parking lot.

Indiana  06/21/09  The home of a Planned Parenthood staff member was picketed by a local anti-choice group. This group has picketed here before, and said they will be back.

Delaware  06/19/09  Regular protesters at a Planned Parenthood health center approached two school buses full of elementary school children near the health center to display their signs and shout anti-choice rhetoric. School officials asked them to move but they refused.

California  06/19/09  Planned Parenthood staff identified a suspicious vehicle that followed a staff person on the freeway and a patient into the parking lot. Police were called and took a report.

Colorado 06/18/09  The partner of a client at a Planned Parenthood health center punched a loud protester who approached him as the couple was getting into their car after an appointment at the health center. The vehicle was not parked on Planned Parenthood property. This protester is loud and aggressive and typically badgers and harasses patients relentlessly as they enter and leave the facility. The protester did not request a police response and continued his protest activities.

New York  06/17/09  Volunteers at a health center heard a man, who did not appear to be associated with their regular protesters, threaten to bomb the site and shoot one of the male volunteers. The volunteers were able to obtain a plate number from the man’s vehicle. Local police and state police were notified. The individual is known to law enforcement. The FBI has also been involved.

Washington  06/17/09  A middle-aged man went into a Planned Parenthood health center and asked the receptionist if abortions were provided at this location. When she told him they did abortions there, he shouted, “MURDERER.”

California  06/16/09  A female protester parked her van in the parking lot of a Planned Parenthood health center and approached a patient, telling her she had a dream about “saving a baby boy.” The patient went in and warned staff and waiting patients about the protester’s presence in the parking lot. Police were called but the woman had left before they arrived.

Michigan  06/16/09  A Planned Parenthood health center has had occasional protesters recently. This is a site that does not usually have protesters, with the exception of a woman who started during “40 Days for Life” and has continued to picket occasionally.

California  06/16/09  A Planned Parenthood staff person leaving the health center for the day was approached by two strangers who were yelling, “Baby killer” and “Murderer.”

California  06/13/09 & 06/27/09  Protesters were seen outside a Planned Parenthood health center, with red tape over their mouths.

Vermont  06/12/09  A man engaged in conversation with a staff person at a Planned Parenthood health center. He claimed he had worked or volunteered at Planned Parenthood in Oregon and knew that someone who worked there was stealing money. He quickly segued, however, into anti-choice and anti-gay statements, referenced Dr. Tiller’s murder, and said, “We’ll meet Jesus in the end.”

New Mexico  06/10/09  Defendants Sergio Baca and Chad Altman were sentenced in federal court for the December 2007 arson attack on Dr. Curtis Boyd’s independent women’s health clinic. Both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson. Baca received a sentence of 46 months, and Altman 40 months.  They were also ordered to pay restitution totaling $796,532. Baca admitted in his written plea agreement that they had set fire to the medical practice to prevent Baca’s former girlfriend from obtaining an abortion there.

Minnesota  06/10/09  A man entered a Planned Parenthood health center and offered staff anti-choice literature. When they declined he left it on the reception desk and departed. This was the sixth time this individual had been in the health center this year, always with a similar scenario. This time staff contacted the police department and gave them the plate number from the man’s car. The police contacted the man, telling him he would be arrested if he entered the clinic again. Staff were advised to call 911 if he reappears.

California  06/10/09, 06/17/09, 6/24/09  A new protester has begun to picket at a Planned Parenthood health center. One of her signs reads “Dr. Tiller’s Life = One unborn Baby’s Life.” She was seen going through a nearby Dumpster.  She also carries a large bottle of water, labeled “Holy Water,” which she used to “baptize” fellow protesters.

Michigan  06/09/09  Staff at a Planned Parenthood health center received a series of obscene calls late in the day. It appeared these were youths making prank calls, and they have not recurred.

Arizona  06/08/09  Staff arriving for work found a paper with the word “Life” handwritten on it taped to the front door of a Planned Parenthood health center.

Pennsylvania  06/06/09, 05/28/09–05/29/09  A male caller left a voice mail at a Planned Parenthood site saying, “You are all baby killers. You are all going to die in hell.” The same caller phoned the next day with the same message, and then on 06/06/09 he called, saying, “One of your baby killers was killed last week.”

Illinois  06/06/09  A truck was spotted outside a Planned Parenthood health center, covered with graphic images and signs that said, “Dr. Tiller the Killer murdered babies,” “We will punish,” and “Dr. Tiller sold his soul for profit.” The truck was reported to federal authorities.

Texas  06/06/09  A regular protester at a Planned Parenthood health center trespassed on the parking lot. She was warned that she was trespassing on clearly marked private property. Police were called and issued a warning. The protester claimed that since Planned Parenthood leased the parking lot and did not own it, Planned Parenthood could not restrict access. The police informed her that she was wrong, and would go to jail the next time she trespassed.

Texas  06/01/09  Staff arriving at a Planned Parenthood health center noted two small vials of liquid with what appeared to be pieces of paper floating in them near their front door. The police determined the items were benign and allowed staff to resume work in approximately 30 minutes.

Illinois  06/09  On multiple occasions, protesters attempted to stop cars approaching a Planned Parenthood health center. One protester let her dog off its leash and allowed it to run loose across the street from the health center.

Multiple Locations  06/09  Multiple Planned Parenthood locations received a mailing containing anti-choice and religious rhetoric, including references to Dr. Tiller’s murder.

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