CATCH Center for Analysis and Tracking of Clinic Harassers

Center for Analysis and Tracking of Clinic Harassers

An essential tool in the fight to protect our communities here & across the country

Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion – Choice Matters Inc. (Choice Matters) seeks support for post-pilot development of CATCH, a digital resource that captures the legal tools necessary to fight all those that perpetrate human right violations against abortion providers, patients, and medical facilities.

Attacks on abortion clinics, patients, and providers have hit a record high. The National Abortion Federation (NAF) recorded these 2021 increases: 600% in stalking; 450% in blockades; 163% in hoax devices/suspicious packages; 129% in invasions; and 128% in assault and battery. In 2022, even as many clinics were forced to close, every form of violence increased over 2021.

Providers and medical facilities have limited tools and strategies to fight back. While there are national databases that track laws and incidents, no organization is tracking anti-abortion terrorist individuals or successful legal remedies. In exhaustive detail, CATCH records extremist tactics and analyzes who, what, where, when, how—thereby tracking the anatomy of the crime, including the opposition’s attorneys, legal strategies, verdicts, judges, sentences, and more. It can identify a legal precedent to battle roadblocks injected by the defense. It identifies everything a medical facility, law enforcement agency and/or district attorneys needs to win, prosecute, and hold criminals accountable.

A Record of Success

“Key to our victory both in court and with the quashing of two subpoenas was Catherine Lederer-Plaskett. The work that Catherine and her CATCH staff are doing is critical. Without their work, abortion providers will continue to struggle to respond to this new form of vigilantism.” —Constance Considine, Chief Administrator, All Women’s Medical Office Based Surgery, PLLC

>CATCH was key to the successful prosecution of three violent perpetrators who invaded a reproductive medical facility in White Plains, NY, on 11/27/2021, providing the Westchester County District Attorney and the independent counsel to the medical facility with the information needed to quash two subpoenas and obtain a conviction and tough sentencing.

>In 2023, CATCH research successfully defended the Westchester County “Clinic Access Law,” the Reproductive Health Care Facilities Access Act, in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, denying the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction.

>In June 2023, CATCH stood with NYS Attorney General Letitia James to announce a lawsuit against militant, anti-abortionists Red Rose Rescue for the blocking and invading of clinics.


A New Wave of Anti-Choice Extremists

The modus operandi of new wave anti-abortion agitators like Red Rose Rescue, Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust and Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising is to invade and occupy reproductive healthcare facilities while other agitators overwhelm and terrify patients. These dangerous extremists are not bound by state lines. Unfortunately, most law enforcement is. The same people who attacked in White Plains, Long Island and New York City have crossed into New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and elsewhere. Medical facilities are defenseless against these tactics, which waste time and money that would otherwise serve women’s vital medical needs. CATCH will assist jurisdictions as they fight these battles, allowing prosecutors, police and health centers to “learn” across state lines and defend women’s rights to safely access medical clinics.

2022 Successful Prosecution of White Plains Clinic Invaders

CATCH staff collected and catalogued actual accounts as presented by the vigilantes’ social media accounts: their own words were used to document their actions and intent, including photographs and videos of the invasion from various sources. Arguments from similar crimes were collected. Histories of these men’s past criminal trespasses were collected, documenting an extensive history of violent actions. This information supported the Westchester County District Attorney’s office and the independent counsel to the medical facility; the former used the full amalgamation of research, while the independent counsel used past arguments as a guide to quash two subpoenas. The three invaders were convicted and sentenced to the fullest extent permitted under the law.

Using CATCH to Defend A Clinic Safety Law

In August 2022, two challenges to the June 2022 Westchester County “Clinic Access Law,” the Reproductive Health Care Facilities Access Act, were filed in federal court. The plaintiffs made a motion for an immediate injunction, claiming that the law prohibited sidewalk counsellors [sic] – anti- abortion activists – from exercising their First Amendment rights. CATCH laid bare the opposition’s social media and online accounts, showing videos in which the plaintiffs laid out their strategies and goal, to overturn Hill v. Colorado, upon which all clinic access buffer zones are based. CATCH photographed and videotaped demonstrators in front of clinics in Westchester County, documenting anti-choice zealots exercising their First Amendment rights. The Westchester County Attorney’s Office based its entire objection to the motion for an immediate injunction on materials provided by CATCH and won. The motion was denied! “The judge relied upon the photos and videos you [CATCH] provided in his decision.” —Westchester County Attorney John Nonna

CATCH will continue to provide assistance to the Westchester County Attorney’s Office, including most recently with the filing of an amicus brief.

About Our Fiscal Sponsor, The Center for Transformative Action (CTA)

The Center for Transformative Action (CTA) is an independent 501(c)3 organization affiliated with Cornell University. Founded over 50 years ago, in 1971, as the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy (CRESP), CTA’s purpose is to help create communities that are socially just, ecologically sound, and work for everyone. Because of CTA’s fiscal sponsorship status, all donations to CATCH are tax deductible. Their website is The Center for Transformative Action.