The Face Act penalizes people for blockading and threatening abortion clinics. Anti-abortion activists want it repealed
Sat 16 Sep 2023
The inside of the abortion clinic was chaotic. Anti-abortion protesters lined the walls. A few had sat down on the clinic’s lime green chairs and draped themselves in chains. “Please inspire these parents to keep their babies!” one man shouted, before he started singing about the Virgin Mary. As some of the protesters sang and prayed loudly, the police officers crowded inside the clinic tried to urge them to move. They didn’t want to budge.
It was 22 October 2020, and one anti-abortion advocate was livestreaming a group of activists who were at the Washington DC-area clinic to, in their view, “rescue” people from having abortions. One redheaded young woman turned to the camera.
Abortion providers feared they’d see an increase in harassment and threats if Roe v Wade was overturned. They were right.
By Carter Sherman
May 11, 2023
Dr. Gabrielle Goodrick has provided abortions for 26 years. And up until a few years ago, she never had to deal with protesters at her Phoenix, Arizona clinic.
But in the year since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the protests at her clinic have become so large and loud that, for the first time, Goodrick has had to enlist people to help escort patients through the picketers.
The Texas-based group 40 Days for Life has brought its aggressive tactics to more than 1,000 cities in 65 countries.
January 9, 2023
There were four or five protesters outside Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, the first time Dr. Greg Irwin saw them. He was driving to his job as a consultant radiologist when he noticed the group hoisting placards opposite the parking lot, close to the maternity unit. BEFORE I FORMED YOU IN THE WOMB I KNEW YOU, one sign read, alongside a Bible reference. “Oh, my God,” Irwin thought. “It’s one of those American protests.”
After he parked in his usual spot, an older woman holding rosary beads smiled as he approached. “We’re holding a prayer vigil,” she explained, adding that they were offering “support and advice” to women. Irwin noticed their placards were branded with the logo of 40 Days for Life. When he googled the name later that night, he expected to find a local church organization. Instead, he discovered the shiny, high-budget website of a Texas-based group, emblazoned with pictures of men in sharp suits with dazzling white teeth. A counter in the corner ticked down the numbers of babies “saved” worldwide. Scrolling, he saw a map festooned with red pins, marking group locations all over the world. Irwin stared at his screen, bewildered. How could there be a connection between a group in Texas and the woman outside his hospital in Scotland?
SUNDAY 16 OCTOBER 2022
BY CAMILA VALLE, EMILY JANAKIRAM, HOLLY LEWIS, SHERRY WOLF
Spectre Journal (USA) recently hosted an event for donors about global lessons for the struggle for abortion rights and reproductive justice after the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. The panel included Camila Valle, Sherry Wolf, Emily Janakiram, and Holly Lewis. This is an edited transcript of their speeches and wrap ups after the discussion.
Camila Valle: I know people are probably thinking about what just happened to our right to abortion and reproductive healthcare in the US, which other speakers will go into tonight, but I wanted to start with a historic victory in a different part of the world: that of the Argentinian abortion movement, which won legalization at the end of 2020—and not just legalization, but free abortion as part of their socialized healthcare system.
Bombings, assassinations and kidnappings: The anti-abortion movement has always had a violent wing that left families shattered.
By Christopher Mathias
Jun 13, 2022
If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade in the coming weeks, it will mark the culmination of a decades-long, multimillion-dollar legal effort by the American conservative movement to end abortion rights and force many pregnant people to give birth.
It will also be the culmination of a
multi-decade terror campaign.
Body cams and license plates are already being used to track people arriving at abortion clinics.
By Abby Ohlheiser
May 31, 2022
The Supreme Court is shortly expected to issue its decision on a challenge to Roe v. Wade that will—if a leaked draft version of the opinion holds—end federal protection for abortion access across the US. If that happens, it will have far-reaching consequences for millions of people. One of those is that it could significantly increase the risk that anti-abortion activists will use surveillance and data collection to track and identify people seeking abortions, sending authorities information that could lead to criminal proceedings.
Opponents of abortion have been using methods like license plate tracking for decades. In front of many clinics around the US, it remains a daily reality.
BY Emily Janakiram & Katie Finnigan, Truthout
April 16, 2022
An anti-abortion group that masquerades as progressive in an attempt to gain a following in liberal cities suddenly surged into mainstream news headlines this spring after the Washington Metro Police Department recovered five fetuses from the apartment of anti-abortion activist Lauren Handy.
Handy is a member of the group “Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising” (PAAU), which announced its formation in September 2021. The group claims to be “pro-BIPOC” and “pro-LGBTQ,” but in practice, the group’s actions align with a violent, right-wing anti-abortion tradition.
D.C. police say they are still working to determine how the fetuses were obtained and whether any laws were broken
By Michelle Boorstein, Peter Hermann and Marissa J. Lang, Washington Post
April 5, 2022
Antiabortion activists said Tuesday they obtained five fetuses from a medical waste disposal driver who was outside a Washington abortion clinic, an assertion the waste disposal company denies.
Plainclothes officers removed the fetuses from a Southeast apartment where one of the activists was staying. D.C. police are still working to determine how the fetuses were obtained and whether any laws were broken.
BY MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE, HOUSTON BUREAU CHIEF
Photography by GINA FERAZZI
MARCH 10, 2022
BOULDER, Colo. — Dr. Warren Hern doesn’t have to imagine what could befall many women in America if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe vs. Wade.
In 1963, he was a medical student working nights at Colorado General Hospital in Denver. Women would arrive in septic shock, some probably hours from death. “Nobody talked about why they were there,” Hern recalled.
The growing overlap between anti-abortion activism and far-right extremism has started to spill into the real world in high-profile ways.
By Tess Owen and Carter Sherman
Feb 3, 2022
On New Year’s Eve, a fire ripped through the last Planned Parenthood in East Tennessee, turning the Knoxville abortion clinic into a hunk of rubble. As the ruins smoldered, some anti-abortion activists and members of the far-right celebrated online.
A Telegram meme account affiliated with the Proud Boys, a far-right street-fighting gang, responded to the literal fire with a string of fire emojis. “Aww, what a shame,” they wrote. “That will set their genocidal plans and baby parts market back for months.”