Central Coast man threatened Planned Parenthood, pleads guilty

June 13, 2023


A Central Coast man pleaded guilty on Monday to federal criminal charges of making threatening telephone calls last year, including to a Planned Parenthood office on the day the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, according to the Justice Department.

Nishith Vandebona, 34, of Ventura County pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of threatened forcible intimidation and one felony count of transmitting threatening communications. U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner then ordered Vandebona remanded into federal custody.

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court published a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe and ruled that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.

Vandebona admitted in his plea agreement that on the same day, using an anonymous number, he left a voicemail message containing death threats with Planned Parenthood California Central Coast, a Santa Barbara-based reproductive health services organization.

On June 25, 2022, Vandebona called Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and spoke with a call center specialist. Vandebona said, “I’m calling to let you know that I’m going to come in there and kill all of you, including your staff and your security. You got it? You’re overdue for an attack.”

Within an hour, Vandebona telephoned Planned Parenthood Los Angeles again and made several death threats, including “I’m gonna come in there and murder your staff.”

Prior to the threats to the Planned Parenthood facilities, Vandebona called in a bomb threat in Feb. 2022 to the office of Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), a Ventura-based non-profit organization that advocates for “zero population growth,” primarily through immigration restrictions.

Vandebona admitted to using anonymous numbers he obtained from the internet to make threatening phone calls to CAPS. In one of the calls, he said, “I’m gonna come in there and kill all of you, dude. Be careful.”

In another call to CAPS in Feb. 2022, Vandebona said, “I’m gonna come in there, plant a bomb, and kill as many white Americans as possible. You understand that? Servicemen, families, everybody.”

Vandebona faces a statutory maximum sentence of one year in federal prison for threatened forcible intimidation and up to five years in federal prison for the transmitting threatening communications. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 2.

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