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Anti-abortion terrorist.
Not fit for HHS.

Mugshot from Osceola County Corrections, December 1997

Matt Bowman, senior advisor to the HHS Office for Civil Rights, has a long history of using harassment and intimidation against communities with his anti-abortion and homophobic protests and legal pursuits. 

Since the late 90s, he had numerous arrests and run-ins with the law while…

  • Intimidating and terrifying nurses at health centers
  • Picketing a doctor and his family at their home
  • Harassing a community still reeling from the murder of an abortion provider
  • Protesting Disney World for being supportive of LGBTQ people

Bowman also spent almost a decade working at the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQ hate group where he fought against women's and LGBTQ people’s rights.

He is not fit to serve at HHS.


Internal HHS emails concerning Jane Doe obtained via Equity Forward FOIA

As Deputy General Counsel at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Matt Bowman is a key figure in the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back women’s reproductive rights. Notably, he played a main role in the Jane Doe case denying migrant women abortions1

Madison Police Department, 05/16/00

Bowman had at least a dozen run-ins with the police as a full-time anti-choice protester, when he spent his days harassing nurses, doctors, patients and hospital employees at health facilities and their homes.

Operation Rescue National, 7/3/98

Bowman has close connections with Operation Save America (formerly Operation Rescue National), a radical fundamentalist organization that uses terrorism to advance their anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ agenda. He was specifically involved in Operation Rescue’s protests against Disney’s so-called “gay friendly” policies; he was even listed as the local contact for such protests in Wisconsin.


Bowman Spent His Time Before Law School as a Professional Anti-Abortion Activist and Protester for Groups Such as Operation Rescue. From 1997 to 2000 Bowman was a “full-time pro-life volunteer” in Madison, Wisconsin and was affiliated with groups such as Operation Rescue National (now Operation Save America) and the Collegians Activated to Liberate Life Education Foundation.2

Madison Police Department, 5/21/98

Matt Bowman Resume, accessed via American Oversight, 9/15/17

Poughkeepsie Journal, 4/16/99

Bowman Led Anti-Abortion Picketers in a Protest Outside the Family Home of an Abortion Providerin. In March 2001, Bowman led a group of five anti-abortion protesters to protest at the home of Dr. Douglas Laube, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Wisconsin. According to a police report, the protesters carried signs decrying Dr. Laube as well as photos of “aborted fetuses.” The police had been called by neighbors who were expressing their displeasure at the photos displayed.5

Madison Police Department, 3/9/01

Bowman has Litigated Dozens of Federal Lawsuits Around Key Abortions Rights Issues. Bowman never distanced himself from his radical past. Instead, he went on to professionalize his views through a legal career. During his decade-long tenure as Senior Council at Alliance Defending Freedom, Bowman represented anti-choice interest groups in lawsuits, defended anti-choice protesters, anti-choice pregnancy centers, and anti-choice healthcare workers, as well as 15 separate lawsuits against the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.6 


Bowman was Arrested Outside of Walt Disney World While Protesting Disney’s “Gay Friendly” Policies. Operation Rescue (now Operation Save America and at the time led by notorious extremist Flip Benham) organized the protest in 1997, calling it “a massive assault on the gates of hell” in response to Disney’s providing health benefits to same-sex partners, allowing “Gay Days” at its theme parks, and permitting Ellen DeGeneres to come out as a homosexual on her show.10 

Orlando Sentinel, 12/30/97

Bowman has Compared the Pride Flag to the Confederate Flag. “Many people believe the Confederate flag does not just stand for Southern culture—that it is inextricably intertwined with slavery. If so, what does it mean to fly the rainbow equality flag, when all the leaders who hand it out fervently believe ‘equality’ means they get to define which humans are “equal” and which can be sacrificed and harvested?”11 

Matt Bowman, Town Hall, 8/1/15


Bowman was a Principal Author of Federal Rules Rolling Back Requirements for Employers to Include Birth Control Coverage in their Health Insurance Plans. “A principal author of the rules, Matthew Bowman, a top lawyer at the Department of Health and Human Services, represented March for Life in 2014 when he was a lawyer at the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal advocacy group.”7

Alliance Defending Freedom Facebook page, 9/8/15

Bowman has Claimed that Common and Popular Birth Control Methods like the IUD and Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions. “In the category of ‘FDA approved contraceptives’ included in this mandate are several drugs or devices that cause the demise of an already conceived but not yet implanted human embryo, such as certain intrauterine devices (IUDs). Likewise in that category are many birth control methods that potentially prevent embryos from implantation, such as ‘the Pill’ and ‘emergency contraception.’”8

Bowman was Instrumental in the Case that Eventually Became “Hobby Lobby.” At Alliance Defending Freedom, Bowman “spent years attacking the requirement that most health insurance plans cover contraception under the Affordable Care Act.”9 


  1. New York Times, 10/21/17
  2. Matt Bowman Resume, accessed via American Oversight, 9/15/17
  3. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 4/18/99
  4. Poughkeepsie Journal, 4/16/99
  5. Madison Police Department, 3/8/01
  6. Alliance Defending Freedom, 1/29/14
  7. New York Times, 10/5/18
  8. Matt Bowman, TownHall, 9/29/11
  9. New York Times, 7/11/17
  10. Orlando Sentinel, 12/30/97
  11. Matt Bowman, Town Hall, 8/1/15