Clinic Worker Sues Over Police Leak to Abortion Foes
An abortion clinic administrator whose home address was leaked to anti-abortion protesters by someone in the Anaheim Police Department sued the city Tuesday, alleging that as a result of that leak, her life was threatened by “crazed” anti-abortion protesters.
In a lawsuit filed in Superior Court, Naomi Hardin, clinical director of the Doctors Family Planning Clinic in Tustin, said that members of the group Operation Rescue picketed her Tustin home after learning her address last November.
In February, Hardin said in the suit, Operation Rescue member Allen R. Meadows called her, uttered obscenities at her and threatened her and her family with bodily harm. She said the leak also resulted in her being placed on a “most wanted” list so that she might be assassinated by “crazed persons who have been deluded by members of Operation Rescue into believing that they are serving some higher purpose.”
Anaheim police have acknowledged that a Police Department computer was used to access Department of Motor Vehicle records for the addresses of at least four abortion-rights activists.
Meadows, who was one of three people arrested picketing Hardin’s home, could not be reached for comment on the suit Tuesday. But Operation Rescue spokeswoman Sue Finn said Meadows has told her he made no threatening phone calls to Hardin.
“Operation Rescue has always and still remains 100% committed to being peaceful and nonviolent in our pro-life work,” Finn said. Hardin “was picketed at home, but there is nothing illegal or horrendous about picketing. I understand that she would be upset, but it’s perfectly legal.”
Anaheim Police Lt. Jack Parra said the police chief has impressed upon his department that it is illegal to disclose confidential DMV information to the public. An internal investigation into the source of the leak is ongoing, Parra said.
The police leak prompted the city of Tustin to join a handful of other California cities that have banned picketing which targets a specific home.