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.”
Arson attempt, trespassing, and harassment: The consequences of extreme anti-abortion rhetoric
"This kind of language is an invitation to that radical fringe."
Amanda Michelle Gomez
May 6, 2019
Someone tried to light Whole Woman’s Health of McAllen on fire April 8. The Texas abortion clinic, the only provider serving the Rio Grande Valley, where the average household income is just $37,000, has been around for decades. The clinic has proved resilient, outlasting Texas laws that shuttered other clinics like it.
The arsonist struck at night, after hours, when nobody was at the clinic, said Amy Hagstrom Miller, the founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health. A neighbor noticed the fire and immediately called 911, so the fire department was able to extinguish the flames before the clinic could be too badly damaged. The clinic remained open, but there was residual smoke damage, and the staff could still smell the accelerant used to burn the clinic’s fence.
My Life As An Abortion Provider: 'It's Actually one of the Safest Medical Procedures That We Can Perform'
By Kashmira Gander
As state legislatures across the U.S. debate bills restricting access to abortions, people like Dr Meera Shah are on the ground providing reproductive healthcare which she describes as a “basic human right.”
So what is it like to be an abortion provider at a time when, according to research by the National Abortion Federation published last year, anti-abortion campaigners have been emboldened by the current political climate to ramp up attacks against providers?