Neal Horsley is on a search-and-destroy mission. He's hunting for the names, addresses and phone numbers of anyone having anything to do with the manufacture or distribution of RU-486, the so-called "abortion pill." Horsley encourages his followers to call their local doctors, ask the receptionists if they prescribe RU-486 (also known by its generic name, mifepristone) and then e-mail him the information for verification. The information he receives is then uploaded to his Web site (, becoming instantly available to any kook, nutcase or anti-abortion terrorist with access to the Internet.

The Carrollton, Georgia-based Horsley created the infamous anti-abortion "Nuremberg Files" Web site (, which listed names and, whenever possible, home addresses, telephone numbers, license-plate numbers and Social Security numbers of physicians and health care workers who provide abortions. The site also solicited videos and photographs and published the names and birth dates of the providers' spouses and children. Working health care providers were listed in black, those that had been murdered had a line struck through their names, and the names of the wounded were gray.

In response to the murder of Dr. Barnett A. Slepian, the Justice Department appointed

Percentage of abortion providers experienceing
anti-abortion violence and harassment, 1997-2000.


a task force in November 1998 to investigate anti- abortion violence. Among the panel's first priorities was to take a close look at Horsley's site. After several lawsuits, Internet service provider Mindspring shut down the site in February 1999. Horsley soon established his own Web server, but he claims the BellSouth telephone company "refused to allow our server to connect to the Internet." (At press time, access to both Web sites varies from day to day.)

The nomination of former Missouri Sen. John Ashcroft for attorney general has delighted anti-abortion activists like Horsley. With Ashcroft at the helm, anti-abortion protesters would undoubtedly find more sympathy for their activities within the Justice Department.

The idea of a registry of RU-486 providers is not Horsley's. During the debate prior to the Food and Drug Administration's approval of RU-486, an official national registry was proposed but eventually thrown out after doctors and reproductive rights organizations protested. "We have a crisis of anti-abortion violence in this country," says Katherine Spillar, national coordinator of the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF). "Who can guarantee that this registry wouldn't get into the wrong hands?"

In October, Rep. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) introduced the RU-486 Patient Health and Safety Protection Act, which reintroduced the idea of a national registry and would severely limit those who could prescribe RU-486. Kate Michelman, president of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), characterized the legislation as imposing restrictions that would "in effect negate the ability of doctors to prescribe this option for women."

Coburn quickly recognized that the registry was too controversial and dropped it from the final version of his bill, which eventually stalled in a House committee. However, he did suggest that such a registry should be left to the discretion of the Department of Health and Human Services. Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who also opposes abortion, will likely head HHS. (Coburn was recently defeated in his re-election bid, but his name has been floated by many on the right for the position of surgeon general.)

Horsley promises on his site that his registry will be a "database of those baby butchering 'doctors' and their closest blood cohorts in hopes that the American people will overcome the demonic forces presently enslaving this nation and will finally prosecute the purveyors of death listed herein."

Horsley also plans to add live Web-cams located outside health care clinics to the site. He boasts that this project "will make things get very interesting very fast. People will locate themselves outside baby butcher businesses across the nation and film people coming and going. We want to catalog the people who go out to kill God's little babies."

There have been too many incidents of anti-choice violence not to take Horsley's threats seriously. According to FMF's National Clinic Access Project, one-in-five clinics experienced severe anti-abortion violence in 1999. These attacks included death threats, stalkings, bomb threats, bombings, arson, blockades, invasions and chemical attacks (see chart). At its core, Horsley's RU-486 registry is another open invitation to terrorism.


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