The #MeToo Case That Divided the Abortion-Rights Movement
When an activist accused one of the most respected physicians in the movement of sexually assaulting her, everyone quickly took sides.
Story by Maggie Bullock
March 2020 Issue, Atlantic Magazine
(Posted Feb 21, 2020)
On a 92-degree morning in September, three clinic escorts gathered in the meager shade of a tree outside the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives. They arrive here at 8:30 a.m. on the dot, regular as clock-punchers, on the three days a week the Huntsville clinic is open to perform abortions. The women and girls arrive dressed for comfort in sweatpants and shower slides, carrying pillows from home or holding the hand of a partner or friend. The escorts, meanwhile, wear brightly colored vests and wield giant umbrellas to block the incoming patients from the sight, if not the sound, of the other group that comes here like clockwork: the protesters.
Sometimes there are as many as a dozen. This day there were four: one woman, three men, all white. Four doesn’t sound like that many until you’re downwind of them maniacally hollering: Mommy, don’t kill me! You’re lynching your black baby! They rip their arms and legs off! They suffer! They torture them!