Purported Anti-Choice Leader Charged in SF for Allegedly Stalking Doctor Who Provides Abortions

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By The Vanguard Staff

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – In another big announcement Thursday, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said the District Attorney’s Office has “filed multiple charges against an anti-choice activist, Aaron Jonathan Hurley, who was part of a group of people who invaded a health care clinic and stalked a doctor who provides health care, including abortions, to women.

“Reproductive rights are under attack across the country—and here in San Francisco. Right here in our city, doctors who provide critical health care along with vulnerable patients are being stalked at their homes and places of work,” said District Attorney Boudin.

Hurley, of Los Angeles, is charged with felony stalking, misdemeanor obstructing freedom of access to a clinic, two misdemeanor vandalism charges, misdemeanor trespassing with intent to interfere with a business and misdemeanor interfering with a business.

Boudin said Kristen Turner was cited and released, and that an arrest warrant is pending for Lauren Brice Handy, another suspect allegedly involved in these activities.

“My office will unconditionally protect all medical providers and women who exercise their constitutional right to seek abortion or other reproductive health care. Make no mistake: anyone who harasses, threatens, or interferes in any way with the constitutionally protected work of doctors and staff—who heroically provide care—will be held accountable. We will ensure that all patients and medical providers are safe,” asserted Boudin.

The SF DA Office said Hurley is a member of PAAU (Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising), calling it “an anti-choice group that targeted an abortion and health care provider at San Francisco General Hospital.

The DA said that on March 13, Hurley and others are “alleged to have defaced and damaged a bronze statue of the Madonna and Child at the hospital, covering it with fake blood and stickers with the doctor’s name on it.  There were also handwritten notes that said “harvested” and the phrase “sold $500.” Surveillance footage captured the incident.”

A photo of the defaced statue is below.

And, on March 14, four people, said the DA, allegedly “invaded the Women’s Options Center by using a woman who pretended to be in need of counseling to illegally gain access. When a nurse went to speak to her at the door, Mr. Hurley and other trespassers came out from hiding and ran through the door. They barged into the clinic and began filming patients and staff. Staff reported that these protesters were attempting to barge into operating rooms.”

Hurley and others are “alleged to have entered the clinic where the victim works, chanting the doctor’s name and, ‘We know who you are, we know what you do, leading the victim and staff to be terrified for their safety and the safety of their patients.  Mr. Hurley and others harassed staff and patients, causing them to fear for their safety,” claimed the SF District Attorney.

The DA’s office added that, later that night, “Mr. Hurley and the others went to the targeted doctor’s home address, an address that the doctor had worked to keep private, and placed permanent stickers that said ‘a killer lives in your neighborhood’ at neighbors’ houses and on the doctor’s front door.”

The DA’s office added, “Flyers were also distributed, displaying a QR code that led to a website that specifically named the doctor, provided false, inflammatory claims about abortion procedures, and attacked the doctor for providing abortion services.”

The DA noted, “Flyers were also placed around the doctor’s neighborhood.  The doctor was frightened for their safety and the safety of their family, given that the doctor was targeted at both their home and work.  The doctor was forced to change their entire personal routine and route to work out of fear for their safety.”

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