Women's Issues

Creepy Anti-Abortion Activists Caught Bragging About ‘Tracking’ Abortion Providers And Women

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anti-abortion protest signsIn what might be the thing that causes me to finally and completely lose it today, some recorded audio taken at an anti-choice conference was leaked, and what it reveals is pretty infuriating.

The audio was released by two pro-choice groups, NARAL Pro-Choice and Progress Texas, whose activists attended a training session at the Texas Capital in Austin titled “Keeping Abortion Facilities Closed,” according to The Raw Story.

I live in Austin, and over the past few years, I’ve been able to witness exponentially more stringent abortion laws through what feels like a crazy-pills induced haze. However, listening to the audio has assured me that I’m not the crazy one, these freaks are. From the Raw Story’s original report:

Karen Garnett of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas instructed her fellow protesters and activists to flood the streets around women’s clinics so that “prayer chains” can be on site “in front of every abortion facility during all hours that abortions are being performed.”

“Part of that,” Garnett said, “is so that we can track. We can track the number of women who choose life and we can also track who works there, who is your abortionist. You can do that, it’s totally legal. You can track license plates.”

She went on to detail how her group has a “very sophisticated spread sheet” so that they can track and monitor every person who arrives and leaves women’s health centers.“You have license plates, the car make and model and a description of the person,” she said.

Okay, creepy. Also, not illegal, but still terrifying as balls, since in the past anti-choice groups have used this kind of tactic to stalk and murder abortion providers like George Tiller in his place of worship. Because there’s always room for a little more scuzziness, another anti-choice activist, Eileen Romano, stressed the importance of speaking to the poors:

“You learn the street talk,” and by speaking to “the poorer ones” in their own vernacular, Romano said, they were able to divert them to an anti-choice “pregnancy crisis center,” where they were convinced not to abort.”

How did they do this? By lying to them, Romano explains, almost gleefully. By telling the women that the clinic they were seeking care from was closing, they convinced the women that they wouldn’t be able to find transportation to the next closest abortion provider and lured them to their fake-ass CPCs instead, which often provide erroneous or downright false information in order to get women to have their unwanted babies.


I listened to the audio in that video, and there is some really infuriating stuff in there, like when one of the speakers pats everyone on the back for intimidating some of the women who utilize reproductive health centers.

“When we’re out there, and we’ve got the sidewalks lined with people…the number of cancelled appointments, just of no-shows, just because they don’t want to drive in because they see our presence there, that’s one impact.”

They name names, talk about searching appraisal records for new clinics, crow that they’re looking for more abortion providers to harass, and vow that they won’t let up.

All of this for a procedure, that despite the best efforts of the crusty white dudes in the state legislature remains legal in the state of Texas. No one is breaking the law, and the only ones flirting with creepy ethically questionable shit are these anti-choice whackjobs.

One of the things that sucks the most about all of this is the fact that these people are effective. We know that they harass, berate, and lie to women in order to make sure that they carry a pregnancy to term. They terrify people and get in their face and use false information to get their way–and it works. Either these women have babies they don’t want or can’t afford, or they seek out dangerous back-alley abortions.

Can you imagine if they put half of this effort into lobbying for better maternal care and poverty safety nets for the women that actually need help? If they made sure the people they were spitting “vernacular” at got the medical care and help that they needed for their babies instead of tossing them a pack of disposable diapers as a reward for not ending their pregnancy?

If you get a chance to listen to all of the audio and think you can stomach it, you really should. Even if you don’t live in Texas, anti-choice groups are growing more and more rabid and command ever more influence from the government, so it’s worth it to know all of the despicable ways that they feel comfortable doing that.

(Image: Melissa Brandes/Shutterstock)