BY Tina Vásquez, Prism
February 2, 2021
Reproductive justice advocate Jordyn Close watched with the rest of the nation on Jan. 6 as Donald Trump supporters invaded the Capitol. Some were outfitted in tactical gear and had zip ties at the ready. Others brought nooses and pitchforks and Confederate flags. The insurrectionists broke windows, ransacked lawmakers’ offices, and spread feces on the Capitol walls. By the end of it all, five people died.
The escalation from rhetoric to violence at the Capitol has shocked many Americans. Close, who works with Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE), is an abortion storyteller with We Testify, and who serves on the board of the abortion fund Women Have Options Ohio, is less surprised. Very early into the news coverage of the insurrection, Close saw a number of familiar faces. Overwhelmingly, these were white men who — when not trying to overthrow the government — spend a great deal of their time harassing people outside of abortion clinics.
From fire bombings, shootings, and ceaseless harassment, anti-abortion violence has wreaked havoc on clinics for decades.
Jan 8, 2021
Trump supporters laid siege to our nation’s capital on Wednesday, storming past
a flaccid and enabling law enforcement presence in an attempt to stage a coup.
As they were filling the halls of Congress—stealing lecterns and paintings, and
taking selfies at Nancy’s Pelosi’s desk—pundits lamented: This is not America;
this is not who we are. Some even marveled at the cooperation from law
enforcement, wondering how security could have been so lax.
Unfortunately, abortion providers are all too familiar with the sort of
violence that played out at the Capitol.
Gen Z activists have been unapologetic and confrontational, a shift in tactics for a movement at a crossroads.
By Jessica Grose
Dec. 10, 2020
In a TikTok filmed in August outside of a women’s health center in Charlotte, N.C., the uncensored version of the mid-1990s novelty rap song “Short, Short Man,” by Gillette blares: “Eenie weenie teenie weenie shriveled little short, short man.”
The camera is focused on a middle-aged white man in sunglasses, who is holding a poster depicting what appears to be a fetus with the word “abortion” printed on it. The caption on the video reads, “don’t worry, the volume was turned all the way up so he could hear :-)”
The 'New Feminist' defenders
September 24, 2020
The video begins with a 19-year-old woman relaxing in a lawn chair outside of A Preferred Women’s Health Center, an abortion clinic on Latrobe Drive in east Charlotte where tensions between anti-abortion activists and pro-choice clinic defenders have risen in recent years.
In the video, the 19-year-old clinic defender nonchalantly reads the lyrics to the song “WAP,” which stands for Wet Ass Pussy. She’s talking calmly, but just loud enough to drown out Philip “Flip” Benham, a known religious extremist who has spent nearly 20 years protesting and harassing patients at the east Charlotte clinic. While Benham is usually the loudest man on Latrobe Drive, he looks bewildered by the woman’s confident reading of Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion’s gospel. He continues to read a Bible passage aloud just feet away from her. Continued: https://qcnerve.com/new-defenders-charlotte-abortion-clinic/
Abortion Clinic Protests Are Still Happening in the Pandemic: ‘They Accost Patients Face to Face’
“They don’t social distance. They block, stalk, push, shove, talk, scream. It’s business as usual out there for them.”
by Carter Sherman
May 26 2020
When Kelly Benzin arrived at the Grand Rapids, Michigan, abortion clinic where she works one recent Wednesday morning, everything seemed normal. Even in the midst of the pandemic, the Heritage Clinic for Women had been drawing about five to 15 protesters a day, she said. One was just setting up his chair as Benzin pulled in.
But around 8 a.m., when the clinic officially opened, Benzin realized that about 25 to 35 people had started to gather outside. Soon, they started to approach patients, handing out roses and trying to talk them out of getting abortions.
Abortion rights opponents in several cities have been cited for violating stay-at-home orders
By Harmeet Kaur, CNN
Tue April 7, 2020
(CNN)For some abortion rights opponents around the country, orders by cities and counties to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic have become a point of contention.
In recent weeks, police in several cities have arrested people who continued to engage in anti-abortion rights demonstrations or other advocacy efforts outside reproductive health clinics, despite stay-at-home orders and similar restrictions.
There's a Better Way to Talk About Abortion
People still use medically inaccurate and stigmatizing terms to talk about abortion. You can help change that.
by Marie Solis
Jan 22 2020
Illustrations by Cathryn Virginia
For decades, conservative politicians and activists have dictated the rhetoric around abortion, and for that reason many of the words we use to talk about the procedure are medically inaccurate, emotionally charged, and suffused with stigma. And that includes even the most basic terms we use to describe the debate over abortion rights: The anti-abortion camp has long described itself as “pro-life” instead, monopolizing a powerful word that advocates say clouds their real intention—to ban abortion. The word “choice,” some say, is an imprecise one as well, creating the impression that one’s ability to get an abortion is simply a matter of choosing to do so, when in fact there are many systematic obstacles in the way that keep people from accessing the procedure.
Abortion Clinics Don't Want Demonstrators Around, Even If They're Pro-Choice
Inside the fight taking place at U.S. clinics.
by Rebecca Grant
Jul 9 2019
As an abortion rights advocate in a state trying to ban abortion, Helmi Henkin isn't usually in the position of turning away support.
Henkin chairs of the clinic escort program for West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa, one of the three abortion clinics left in Alabama, and formerly lead communications for The Yellowhammer Fund, the only statewide abortion fund. In May, an anti-abortion protester tried to run over a WAWC escort in the parking lot with an SUV. One week later, Governor Kay Ivey signed an extreme abortion ban into law and, since then, Alabama has been in the national spotlight as a harbinger of what’s to come. Henkin has found that since the law’s signing, pro-choice advocates across the country feel an urgency to do something about it. Some send money, while others want to protect abortion clinics in a more physical way.
This Is What Women Have to Go Through to Get an Abortion in North Carolina
As Told To Macaela Mackenzie
November 21, 2018
Calla Hales oversees four abortion clinics in North Carolina and Georgia. For the past 40 Saturdays, she's been facing the front lines of an anti-abortion protest that drew thousands of pro-life activists. This is her story as told to Glamour's Macaela MacKenzie.
My typical Saturday commute to work feels a little like driving straight into a festival. There are tour buses, music blasting over loudspeakers, hundreds of people congregated in brightly colored shirts. Except this isn’t a festival or a fun town parade—I run four abortion clinics in North Carolina and Georgia, and this is the anti-abortion protest we face every week.
The Disturbing Rise of Cyberattacks Against Abortion Clinics
Oct 5, 2017
Fatimah Gifford was nervous the day she was scheduled to testify in front of Texas’ Health and Human Services committee. Gifford is the VP of Communications for Whole Woman’s Health, which operates five reproductive healthcare clinics across Texas. This wasn’t her first time testifying before the state legislature, but it was her first time testifying about abortion.
“I entered into this with eyes wide open, and knowing that I was more than likely going to be devoured up in there,” she says.