A man threatened to “slaughter” abortion doctors. It’s part of a disturbing trend.
Advocates say Trump’s rhetoric is helping fuel a spike in threats against abortion clinics nationwide.
By Anna North Aug 21, 2019
One man was charged with threatening to “slaughter and murder” doctors and patients at an abortion clinic in Chicago. Another was arrested in connection with threats against Planned Parenthood and federal agents. A third vandalized a Planned Parenthood office in Pennsylvania, painting a Bible verse in red on a wall.
All this happened in the past month alone. It’s part of what doctors and reproductive rights groups say is a spike in harassment and threats against abortion providers. According to a report by the National Abortion Federation, for example, providers reported 21,252 incidents of online harassment in 2018, compared with 15,773 in 2017.
Tired of hiding: five doctors who provide abortions come out
They’re fearless, defiant, and increasingly angry at the mounting threats in the US to reproductive rights. Here, they reveal why the reasons why they choose to go public
by Carey Dunne
Tue 6 Aug 2019
On a frigid evening in January, Dr Katie McHugh welcomed 20 guests into her Indianapolis home and prepared to tell them a secret she had kept for seven years. They had come for a Planned Parenthood fundraiser party; among them were her father and two sisters. As they gathered in her living room, sipping wine, McHugh’s hands shook.
“I was quite nervous, but I wanted to get my secret out as soon as I could,” she says. “I said, ‘Welcome. I’m glad you’re all here. I’m Katie McHugh. I’m an OB-GYN here in Indianapolis, and I’m also an abortion provider.’ My father visibly flinched. Then I stopped to take a breath, and everyone applauded, including my family.
As Trump Fans the Flames of Anti-Abortion Rhetoric, Kansas Offers a Cautionary Tale
August 2 2019
A sheriff’s deputy was waiting in his car along Interstate 35 just outside Kansas City, Kansas, on the afternoon of May 31, 2009, when the powder-blue Ford Taurus rolled by.
The deputy pulled out behind the car and followed it. He took up two lanes and put on his hazards so no one would try to pass as he called for backup. Minutes later, a four-car posse pulled the Taurus over. Inside was 51-year-old Scott Roeder. He got out of the car with his hands raised. There was blood on his pants and one of his shoes.
On the frontline: 12 hours in a besieged abortion clinic
Rachel is a doctor who provides abortions. She commutes 10 hours each way to work in an area of Alabama that would otherwise not provide the procedure at all
by Vegas Tenold and Glenna Gordon in Montgomery, Alabama
Wed 24 Jul 2019
Rachel hunches down in the seat of a Chevrolet rental, adjusting her disguise in the mirror. She pulls down a fedora to partly cover her face, but isn’t convinced it offers enough cover. She puts on a pair of oversize sunglasses.
While the combination conceals her face, it is also not an inconspicuous sight in the pre-dawn Friday hours in a run-down neighborhood in Montgomery, Alabama.
Man sentenced to 12 years for killing his girlfriend for getting an abortion
11 June 2019
By Nico Gous
The Polokwane High Court on Monday sentenced 39-year-old Joseph Mafifi to 12 years in prison for killing his girlfriend in 2018.
Officers at Tom Burke police station, outside Lephalale, received a tip-off on March 18 last year that a woman was being stabbed on a farm near Swartwater.
10 years after abortion doctor George Tiller's murder, advocates fear violent rhetoric
Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY
Published May 31, 2019
Ten years ago today, George Tiller, a Kansas abortion doctor, was attending Sunday service at his Wichita church when he was fatally shot by an anti-abortion extremist.
"However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence," President Barack Obama said in a statement after his death.
Ten years after abortion doctor's murder, one woman carries the fight for reproductive rights
In 2009, George Tiller was shot dead in Kansas. Today, as America’s discord over abortion reaches fever pitch, Julie Burkhart is keeping the flame alive
Fri 31 May 2019
Julie Burkhart remembers all too vividly the morning of 31 May 2009. It was a Sunday and she was in a meeting in Washington DC when, shortly after 10am, her phone started buzzing incessantly with calls from her home town of Wichita, Kansas.
When she got through to one of her co-workers she thought at first he was making a surreal joke. George Tiller, her mentor with whom she had worked side-by-side for the past eight years at the frontlines of America’s abortion wars, had been accosted at Sunday service in his Wichita church and shot dead.
Christian rightwing figures warn abortion fight could lead to civil war
Wave of extreme bans appears to have amped up predictions by magazines and politicians that abortion is cause of coming conflict
Sun 26 May 2019
Prominent figures on the Christian right in the US ranging from religious magazines to authors to elected politicians have warned that the fight over abortion rights could lead to a new civil war.
Though such dire predictions are not necessarily new on the extreme right wing in the US, the passing of a wave of hardline anti-abortion laws in numerous states this year appears to have amped up the conspiracy-minded predictions that depict abortion squarely as a root cause of a coming conflict.
Abortion clinics report 'alarming' rise in picketing, vandalism and trespassing
Last year, trespassing hit highest level since 1999 while vandalism occurred at highest rate since 1990
Julia Carrie Wong
Sat 25 May 2019
US abortion providers reported an “alarming escalation” in incidents of disruption and intimidation in 2018, according to new findings report by their professional association, the National Abortion Federation (NAF).
Trespassing reached the highest level since the NAF began recording such incidents in 1999, while incidents of obstruction of facilities grew 78% from 2017 to 2018. Providers also reported record levels of picketing (99,409 incidents) since recording began in 1977, and the highest number of incidents of vandalism (125) since 1990.
2018: Alarming escalation in anti-abortion trespassing, obstruction, and vandalism
National Abortion Federation Releases 2018 Violence & Disruption Statistics
May 24, 2019
Today, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) released its 2018 statistics on violence and disruption against abortion providers. As anti-abortion politicians continue to test the U.S. Supreme Court by passing unconstitutional anti-abortion laws and executive rules, those who oppose abortion are testing their local law enforcement. While NAF recorded a decrease in stalking, burglary, and assault and battery in 2018, NAF members reported an alarming escalation in incidences of obstruction, vandalism, and trespassing.
“Anti-choice individuals and groups have been emboldened by the rhetoric of President Trump, Vice President Pence, and other elected officials and we are seeing this play out in more instances of activities meant to intimidate abortion providers and disrupt patient services,” said The Very Reverend Katherine Ragsdale, Interim President and CEO of NAF. “Demonizing health care providers and women who rely on them for abortion care has become one of the go-to tactics for anti-choice politicians. Those lies have consequences and it is not the anti-choice politicians who are facing those consequences; it is those who are denied abortion care and the providers targeted by threats, harassment, and violence who are. It is time for the demonizing of abortion providers and their patients to end.”