Violence against abortion clinics hit a record high last year. Doctors say it's getting worse.
By Kate Smith
Updated on: September 17, 2019
For one of the last abortion doctors in Missouri, harassment, stalking and death threats are a part of regular life. But this year, it's been worse than ever.
Colleen McNicholas, the chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, is one of many providers who told CBS News they've seen an uptick in violence this year, both against themselves and their clinics. They say the increased harassment has coincided with newly enacted state laws restricting legal abortion and polarizing rhetoric surrounding the procedure.
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.
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.
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.”