August 13, 2014 2:24 pm -

Undercover audio has been released of “Keeping Abortion Facilities Closed,” a training hosted by anti-abortion groups at the State Capitol on August 4, 2014. In the video, it’s revealed that anti-choice activists are monitoring patients, staff and doctors.

The anti-abortion activists consider tracking license plates and scrutinizing tax records, a tactic which was caught on tape in the startling video released by NARAL, Pro-Choice Texas and Progress Texas.


The tactics offered 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 cataloging the physical descriptions and car license plates of patients, and searching tax records to find locations of new abortion providers.

Karen Garnett, executive director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas, can be heard saying, “The license plates that are coming into any abortion facility, we have a very kind of sophisticated little spreadsheet, everybody keeps track. This way you can track whether or not a client comes back, if they turned away.”

“You have license plates, car make, model, description of the person,” she added. “Then as far as the staff members and the abortionists, you can identify if you got a new abortionist.”

Another speaker refers to monitoring the percentage of abortion clinics closures as “keeping score” and cites the number of clinic staffers who quit, which garnered applause.

The “poorer ones” she said, heard the abortion clinic in their area was going to close and visited an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center instead. “God is good,” she said.


“The same groups that lobbied Texas lawmakers to pass HB 2, a law that has nothing to do with the health and safety of women, are those outside abortion clinics, harassing and intimidating patients, blocking them from accessing the care they need, and threatening abortion providers,” Heather Busby of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas said in a statement.

“With fewer clinics for these stalking protestors to target, the dangerous impact of their intimidation tactics will be exacerbated,” she said.

“The anti-abortion harassment tactics outlined in this disturbing training lead women to seek dangerous alternatives.”

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

69 responses to Disturbing Audio: Intimidating Tactics by Texas Anti-Choice Activists, Tracking Patients, Doctors

  1. R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Non-violent protesting combined with tech-savvy participants. How could that be a bad thing?

    • Anomaly 100 August 13th, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      Well the NSA would be proud of them for invading the privacy of patients, some of which are possibly rape victims.

      • mea_mark August 13th, 2014 at 3:02 pm

        I wonder if this does or doesn’t violate HIPPA laws.

        • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 3:41 pm

          Hmm. Good question. I would have thought that only applied to the doctors / administration officials releasing information. Technically, all the observers have is that the facility was visited, not why.

          • Anomaly 100 August 13th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

            To my knowledge, it does not. HIPPA laws only apply to employees, although I could be wrong. When I worked in a certain field. the HIPPA laws applied (very strictly) to those in our field.

          • mea_mark August 13th, 2014 at 5:56 pm

            My sister worked with a company that reposed cars and they had to follow strict guidelines about what they could do with what they found in the cars because of HIPPA. That is why I was thinking it might apply. Health privacy issues are very important and extend away from medical professionals and those working in that field.

          • Anomaly 100 August 13th, 2014 at 6:51 pm

            Again, it’s for the employees. It would be better if everyone adhered to privacy policies but some people just don’t care about others.

          • mea_mark August 13th, 2014 at 7:29 pm

            It doesn’t sound like it would apply from reading this However it is possible since these people are organized and collecting health information through observation as researchers on those frequenting these health clinics, that it might apply. An aggressive prosecuting attorney could probably make a pretty good case. The details of the law are not covered in this though so it is speculation.

          • Anomaly 100 August 13th, 2014 at 8:06 pm

            In my last profession, if I even uttered a patient’s name outside of the facility, I’d be fired and rightfully so. I think everyone should have a modicum of respect for others who are being treated for health issues.

    • Bunya August 13th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Non-violent protesting? Have you ever seen how these people operate? I have. They tell their sheeple that PP clinics are modern day Dachau’s and Auschwitz’s, and the doctors are in there slaughtering actual babies. Low lever thinkers get this image in their minds of doctors tracking down pregnant women and forcing them to abort, or breaking into hospital nurseries and go on a killing or bombing spree in an effort to “save the babies”.

      However, the anti-choice organizations (who, BTW, most are in it for the money and couldn’t care less about saving babies) are smart. They preface their hate speeches by denouncing violence in any way, shape or form – then go on to say doctors are Hitler-esque serial killers. That way, when something bad happens (like a doctor being shot in cold blood), they can fall all over themselves running to a microphone to denounce the vile action and assure everyone they had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the murder. Disgusting.

      • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

        “They tell their sheeple that PP clinics are modern day Dachau’s and Auschwitz’s, and the doctors are in there slaughtering actual babies.”

        And there’s plenty of evidence and history to indicate they’re correct.

        • Budda August 13th, 2014 at 3:54 pm

          Again, for the biological, scientific, medical and legally impaired; an abortion does not “kill” a baby.

          • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 3:56 pm

            I’ll give you the fourth one in that list. The first three could be argued either way.

          • Bunya August 13th, 2014 at 4:28 pm

            “And there’s plenty of evidence and history to indicate they’re correct.”

            I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you know nothing about what happened during the holocaust.

          • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 4:35 pm

            Different methods, similar quantities.

          • Bunya August 13th, 2014 at 4:47 pm

            Okay. Sure. Whatever you believe.
            Of course, you’re entitled to your own opinion – not your own facts.

          • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 4:51 pm

            Facts which you have not supplied.

          • Bunya August 13th, 2014 at 5:03 pm

            …as well as you.

          • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 5:13 pm

            And not having supplied any, I’m nonetheless told I’m not entitled to my own. Was that because you disagreed with my facts (which I didn’t show), or because it was more fun to parrot Al Franken?

          • Bunya August 13th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

            I also don’t agree with Glen Beck’s or Bill O’Reilly’s “facts”, but that’s another story. And I like Al Franken.

          • Red Mann August 13th, 2014 at 6:05 pm

            You can have your own opinions about what constitutes a human and when and if abortion = murder, but they are still your opinions. not facts. Basically anti-abortion equals forced birth and women have no say about what happens to them.

          • R.J. Carter August 14th, 2014 at 12:46 am

            The law defines murder, so that’s decided (and not applicable to abortion). But science has also decided what constitutes a human being, and I’ll side with science.

          • Red Mann August 14th, 2014 at 12:56 am

            Citation please. I read some science orientated sites and I don’t see this claim.

          • R.J. Carter August 14th, 2014 at 9:07 am


            upon fertilization, parts of human beings have actually been transformed into something very different from what they were before; they have been changed into a single, whole human being. During the process of fertilization, the sperm and the oocyte cease to exist as such, and a new human being is produced.

            — Dianne N. Irving, M.A., Ph.D.

          • Red Mann August 14th, 2014 at 10:05 am

            Nice try, but Dr.Irving is a committed pro-life Catholic, so she might be a tad biased in her analysis. She is associated with several “pro-life” groups. Try again.

          • R.J. Carter August 14th, 2014 at 10:10 am


          • Red Mann August 14th, 2014 at 11:12 am

            Well, Don, I see your a G. W. Bush kind of guy and like homeschooling so I don’t expect you can put aside your ideology just like Dr. Irving. Just having a degree doesn’t confer as much authority as you would like. There are those with degrees in biology that are creationists and a degree in astrophysics that is also a YEC. I consider them prostitutes, prostituting their studies to their religious beliefs, giving up rationality for superstition.

          • fahvel August 14th, 2014 at 2:28 am

            why do you continue to palaver with a cretin likerj? It’s awaste of good space where william could throw in a fine illustration of rj’s constituents.

          • Budda August 13th, 2014 at 4:29 pm

            No they can’t.

          • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 4:34 pm

            Thanks for proving both sides can be equally closed-minded.

          • Budda August 13th, 2014 at 4:49 pm

            Let’s hear your arguments against the first three.

          • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 4:51 pm

            If I take material from a fetus and send it off to a genetics laboratory to have it examined, the results will return Homo sapiens. That alone — biologically, scientifically, and medically — quantifies the fetus as a human being.

          • Budda August 13th, 2014 at 5:45 pm

            That’s is called “projection”.

            Baby = infant, new BORN child.


          • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 5:50 pm

            Right. So let’s stop saying they’re killing babies, and just stick with “they’re terminating humans.”

            And I don’t think you’re using “projection” correctly here.

          • Budda August 13th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

            You are using the term “human” improperly, again, the correct term is fetus or embryo.

            And yes, you are still “projecting”.

          • R.J. Carter August 14th, 2014 at 12:42 am

            Projecting would be if I secretly wanted to have an abortion. Learn the terms you see bandied about here before employing them so you don’t look silly.

          • Budda August 14th, 2014 at 9:08 am

            You still aren’t getting it.

            Projection is:

            to regard (something within the mind, as a thought, or attitude)as having some form of reality outside the mind:

          • R.J. Carter August 14th, 2014 at 9:13 am

            Ah. Because I believe an in vitro child to be a human being, I’m “delusional” because (as you project) it is not.

          • Budda August 14th, 2014 at 10:16 am

            No. It appears you believe an embryo is a child. It is not.

          • R.J. Carter August 14th, 2014 at 10:18 am

            You may very well be right, Budda.

          • Red Mann August 13th, 2014 at 6:03 pm

            Fetuses and embryos are potential humans. Even the Bible had precious little to say about abortions, except how to precipitate one.

          • R.J. Carter August 14th, 2014 at 12:40 am

            Which, in context, was a method for a husband to confirm the faithfulness of his wife when it was suspect.

          • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

            Edit – moved to proper response location.

        • Red Mann August 13th, 2014 at 6:01 pm

          Cite some please, besides Gosnell.

    • arc99 August 13th, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      why don’t you ask that question of a gun rights group after they find out that private citizens are monitoring the license plates of vehicles which enter the parking lot of a firearms dealer.

      conservatives demonstrate such a cavalier disregard for the rights of people then throw a snit when you are the recipient of the same behavior.

      Roe v Wade was decided on the basis of the 9th and 14th amendments. If you do not care about the 9th and 14th amendment rights of a woman seeking a legal medical procedure, why the hell should anyone give a hoot about your 2nd amendment rights?

      • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 4:38 pm

        And that’s why abortion is legal in this country, and will continue to be. You can get abortions every other Saturday if you want.

        • arc99 August 13th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

          fine, then having only one firearms dealer in an entire state is no problem?

          • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 5:49 pm

            Well, not from his perspective. But if the demand for guns went down (and don’t you want that?) then the supply portals would by necessity also dwindle.

        • Red Mann August 13th, 2014 at 5:58 pm

          Not in many states controlled by Republicans. TRAP laws have shut down virtually all abortion providing clinics in some states. People screaming nonsense and waving distorted abortion picture at women, who may not even be getting an abortion, is not exactly peaceful. Religion should not trump the law, ever.

    • Roctuna August 13th, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      Ask Dr. Tillers family or Eric Rudolphs victims if they think it’s non-violent protesting.

      • R.J. Carter August 13th, 2014 at 5:51 pm

        That’s an instance of violent protesting – a totally different animal. That’s like conflating the Mike Brown vigils with the looting that ensued afterward the same night. They’re different groups, purporting to support the same ends.

        • Roctuna August 13th, 2014 at 6:22 pm

          Always with the rationalizations. There’s no “purporting” about how they supported the cause. It’s more than two instances. Go to and follow the links to their stats on violence by “pro-life” protesters or try this direct to the pdf with the stats

          • R.J. Carter August 14th, 2014 at 12:37 am

            Really? Go to one side’s site for their stats about the other side? Let me show you some FreeRepublic links…

          • Roctuna August 14th, 2014 at 8:08 am

            Yes really! Who better to count the incidents of violence than the people this “purported” violence is directed against? Next you’ll be suggesting I go to Operation Rescue for their stats.

        • Lindsey Leigh Phillips December 4th, 2014 at 2:17 am

          All antichoice cretins are cut from the same cloth.

          • R.J. Carter December 4th, 2014 at 9:48 am

            Thanks for demonstrating how generalization works.

          • Lindsey Leigh Phillips December 6th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

            How so?

  2. Carla Akins August 13th, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    They’re called stalkers, not counselors.

  3. tiredoftea August 13th, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    If only the tables could be turned! My guess is that they would be running to the courts for restraining orders.

    • whatthe46 August 13th, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      i sorta said the same thing you did above.

      • tiredoftea August 13th, 2014 at 10:48 pm

        So, we’re on the same page, then.

  4. Teddy Simon August 13th, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    From the same ones that say there is to much government surveillance

  5. MIAtheistGal August 13th, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I doubt if harrassment has ever swayed anyone to agree with the harrasser.

  6. Suzanne McFly August 13th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I love how that want to pray to end abortion and not rape or pedophilia, not to mention war, murder, seven deadly sins….I would love to ask them about their opinions on these other tragedies that occur in our lives but I refuse to argue with people who have tunnel vision due to some twisted “belief” they currently hold dear.

  7. R J August 13th, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    And when someone is killed using these tactics,and someone will be killed, because that is the nature of all of these anti-choice right wing freaks,I hope that a Rico charge will attached to the murder charges,and they go after these right wing terrorist organizations

  8. Obewon August 13th, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    “Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas.” Their Pope says they’re all nutcases. Pope Francis describes ‘ideological Christians’ as a ‘serious (mental) illness’ within the Church. The holy see says Christian ideology was the result of a lack of true prayer.

    • Tommy6860 August 13th, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      Most of these folks are beyond extreme and operate outside of reality being the simpletons they are, completely stuck in an ideology. It was suggested by a neuroscientist that religious fundamentalism such as this kind, could be treated as a mental disorder.

  9. whatthe46 August 13th, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    someone should start tracking and stalking them.

  10. fahvel August 14th, 2014 at 2:22 am

    their god is not good – merely a reflection of themselves in a cracked mirror.