If convicted, Washington man could face six-year prison sentence for June phone call
A federal grand jury indicted a resident of Spokane, Wash., on Wednesday for allegedly threatening to kill Boulder abortion doctor Warren Hern and members of his family.
Donald Hertz called in a death threat to the Boulder Abortion Clinic at 1130 Alpine Ave. on June 23, according to the indictment. The grand jury also alleges that Hertz, 70, tried to intimidate employees who work at the clinic.
Hern, whose clinic has been shot at because he provides abortion services to women in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, was given round-the-clock protection by federal agents in late May after Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller was fatally shot.
"This kind of terrorism has to stop," Hern, 71, said Wednesday. "I'm very grateful for the hard work the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service did to find this man who made a threat to my family."
Hern said he had to pull his 92-year-old mother out of bed in response to the phone call and bring her to a safe place.
"This threatening phone call was very disturbing to my family," said Hern, who has been threatened numerous times before.
He said he isn't allowed to confirm or deny whether he's still under federal protection.
Hertz was charged with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which makes it a federal crime to injure, intimidate or interfere with, by force or threat of force, employees of a facility that provides reproductive health services.
Hern was "grateful" that the law was used in his case and said he hopes it continues to be applied in other cases where abortion providers are harassed.
If convicted, Hertz faces a prison sentence of up to six years and a fine of up to $350,000.