CONTACT: Rachel Marshall / (415) 416-4468 / Rachel.Marshall@sfgov.org
Director of Communications / Policy Advisor / Assistant District Attorney
SAN FRANCISCO— Today, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced that 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. District Attorney Boudin has charged Mr. Hurley, a resident of Los Angeles, with felony stalking (Penal Code section 646.9(a)); misdemeanor obstructing freedom of access to a clinic (Penal Code Section 423.2(c)); two misdemeanor vandalism charges (Penal Code Section 594(b)(2)(a)); misdemeanor trespassing with intent to interfere (Penal Code Section 602(k)); and misdemeanor interfering with a business (Penal Code Section 602.1(a)). Another suspect, Kristen Turner, was cited and released. An arrest warrant is pending for Lauren Brice Handy, another suspect involved in these activities. The investigation is ongoing.
“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. “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.”
Mr. Hurley is a member of PAAU (Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising), an anti-choice group that targeted an abortion and health care provider at San Francisco General Hospital.
On March 13, Mr. 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.
On March 14, four people 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.
Mr. 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.
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. 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. 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.
The arraignment is set for this afternoon in department 11.