February 22, 2019 Press Release

BREAKING: Mother Jones Reports Top HHS Lawyer Spent Years Terrorizing Health Providers at Abortion Clinics and Their Homes

Secretary Azar should remove Matt Bowman, who protested “gay-friendly” policies at Disney and was closely associated with terrorist group Operation Rescue

02.22.19 – Moment ago, Mother Jones published a scathing profile of Matt Bowman, a top attorney at Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), exposing his long history of attending and spearheading anti-abortion and homophobic protests that targeted communities and individuals at their workplaces and homes. Equity Forward has detailed and tracked Bowman’s activities going back to the mid 90s. Bowman had numerous run-ins with law enforcement while intimidating and harassing nurses at health centers and picketing a doctor at his home, and was arrested protesting Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida in opposition to its“gay-friendly” policies.

Bowman terrorized individuals across the country while frequently working with Operation Save America (formerly Operation Rescue National), a radical organization that uses terrorism to advance its anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ and anti-Muslim agenda. Specifically, he was one of the few anti-abortion protesters who chose to protest Buffalo, New York as the community was grieving shortly after the assassination of Dr. Barnett Slepian, a local doctor who provided abortions; even some anti-abortion activists refused to participate in the Operation Rescue protests.

“Add Matt Bowman to the long list of HHS appointees who are simply not fit to serve in an office that is supposed to be protecting our health and well-being,” said Mary Alice Carter, Executive Director of Equity Forward. “From protesting a woman’s health care decisions to taking on Mickey Mouse because Disney granted benefits to same-sex partners, Bowman made a career out of harassing women and the LGBTQ community. Secretary Azar should fire Matt Bowman immediately and denounce these terrorist tactics.

“Our nation’s health department should be working to ensure that vulnerable populations and people providing legal health care are respected and protected. It’s simply unconscionable that someone who harassed a community grieving over the murder of a respected doctor and protested a theme park for supporting its LGBTQ employees and families is now giving legal guidance on health and rights.”

Additional information on Bowman can be found at WhoIsMattBowman.org, which outlines his long career of working to limit women’s reproductive freedom. Before joining HHS, Bowman worked as an attorney at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), where he worked to rob women of their insurance coverage for birth control.  Since joining HHS, he’s been a key figure in the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back women’s reproductive rights. Notably, he played a pivotal role in the “Jane Doe” cases, alongside former Refugee Director Scott Lloyd, working to deny migrant women abortions.

About Equity Forward

Equity Forward is a watchdog project that seeks to ensure transparency and accountability among anti-reproductive health groups and individuals. In addition to running HHSWatch.org, an extensive website with a library of research on nearly 50 political appointees at our nation's health department, Equity Forward also runs PutPeopleBeforePolitics.org, which calls on Secretary Azar not to cut nearly $100 million in lifesaving research at the behest of the anti-abortion lobby.