Anti-abortion leaders explain how they stalk and intimidate staff and patients

The Austin Chronicle reports that anti-abortion activists in Texas take photos of people who go to abortion clinics, and use their license plates to keep track of them.

Anti-abortion activists in Texas employ strategies to identify and monitor abortion patients, investigate abortion providers and clinic staff and search tax records to find locations of abortion providers, according to newly released undercover audio.

The audio, from NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Progress Texas, was recorded during a training session at the Capitol hosted by several anti-abortion groups. Entitled, “Keeping Abortion Facilities Closed," the recording reveals the disturbing lengths anti-abortion advocates take to track, monitor and intimidate abortion providers, clinic staff and patients.

For instance, Karen Garnett of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas instructs the audience on how to track license plates as well as car make, model, and description of the patients visiting abortion clinics and lauds causing cancelled abortion procedures by “lining the sidewalks” of abortion clinics. “You track license plates […] coming into any abortion facility. We have a very sophisticated spreadsheet. This way you can track whether or not a client comes back.”

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas published recordings of the activists at its website, where they discuss in detail the techniques used:

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Progress Texas released a video containing audio from “Keeping Abortion Facilities Closed,” a training hosted by anti-abortion groups at the State Capitol on August 4, 2014. The video reveals the methods anti-abortion activists currently employ to physically intimidate women from accessing safe and legal abortion care in Texas. The disturbing tactics outlined by the four speakers in the video include: identifying and monitoring patients, providers and clinic staff, lining sidewalks outside clinics to dissuade patients from entering clinics, tracking and cataloguing the physical descriptions and car license plates of patients, and searching tax records to find locations of new abortion providers.