This week, anti-abortion activists sent out a few hundred flyers to residents in two Indianapolis neighborhoods containing the names and addresses of two providers at Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK), Indy Star reports. The documents, sent with no return addresses, were part of a campaign spearheaded by the Dallas, Texas-based, anti-choice organization Operation Save America. Up to 300 members of OSA are expected to descend upon Indianapolis for a weeklong conference, partially hosted by the Aletheia Church on the south side of Indianapolis.
James Farrar, pastor at the Aletheia Church, told Indy Star:
“This was intended to let the neighborhood know that someone in their neighborhood makes their living by killing children. We hope that we would generate pressure from neighbors like an awareness campaign, so people realize that these people are living right around you.
We are pro-life. We believe that people have a right to live. ... In the entire history of OSA, there’s never been a case where OSA has ever been prosecuted or been violent towards anyone.”
Christie Gillespie, president and chief executive officer at PPINK, told the publication:
“People don’t expect when they go to work that they will be targeted in this manner at their home. You assume that your home is a place of sanctuary and you won’t be targeted…Our employees are targeted in ways that are very personal. Publicizing someone’s home address is at best inappropriate behavior.”
Dr. Tracey Wilkinson, a pediatrician in Indiana and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health, described an environment of “intimidation, harassment, & fear” following the OSA mailers:
Jezebel has reached out to Operation Save America and will update this post if we hear back.
Update, 5:22 p.m.: Kevin Griffis, Vice President of Communications at Planned Parenthood, shared the following statement with Jezebel:
Every day in health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood’s compassionate and highly skilled doctors, advanced practice clinicians, nurses, physician assistants, and health center staff provide a wide range of sexual and reproductive health care — including birth control, STI testing and treatment, cancer screenings, and abortion. They care for patients and trust them to make their own decisions about their health, their families, and their futures — and they do this in the face of continuing political attacks and harassment.
Planned Parenthood’s top priority is the safety and well-being of patients and staff. The bottom line is that patients should be able to access health care without harassment or judgment — just as providers should not have to face threats or intimidation in order to provide care to their patients.
The fact is that in the United States, abortion has been a safe and legal way to end a pregnancy for 45 years — and is something that the majority of Americans support. Seventy-two percent of Americans —including a majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — do not want to see Roe V. Wade overturned. While someone may personally not choose to have an abortion, it’s important that abortion remain a safe and legal procedure for people to consider if and when they need it. If those opposed to abortion were truly committed to reducing the number of unintended pregnancies, they would work with Planned Parenthood to increase people’s access to birth control and sex education, rather than harassing and attacking patients and providers.