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Anti-abortion activist charged with stalking, harassing SF doctor, defacing statue

SAN FRANCISCO -- An anti-abortion activist has been charged with stalking and harassing a San Francisco doctor, including barging into his workplace and leaving messages on his and his neighbors' homes with false and inflammatory messages, the district attorney's office said Thursday.

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said Aaron Jonathan Hurley was part of a group of four people that invaded a health care clinic on March 14 and confronted the doctor, filming patients and staff and attempting to enter operating rooms.

Later that night, Hurley and others allegedly went to the doctor's home and placed permanent stickers saying, "a killer lives in your neighborhood" at neighbors' houses and on the doctor's front door. Flyers were also scattered which displayed a QR code that led to a website that provided false claims about abortion procedures and attacked the doctor for providing abortion services. 

Hurley and others are also accused of defacing and damaging a bronze statue of the Madonna and Child at San Francisco General Hospital, adding fake blood and stickers with the doctor's name on it. Other handwritten notes were added that said "harvested" and "sold $500." 

Hurley, a Los Angeles resident, is a member the activist group Director of Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, Boudin said in a press statement.

"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 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."  

A second suspect, identified as Kristen Turner, was cited and released. An arrest warrant was pending for a third suspect, identified as Lauren Brice Handy. 

Hurley faces charges of felony stalking, as well as misdemeanor charges of obstructing access to a clinic, vandalism, tresspassing, and interfering with a business.

His initial arraignment was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

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