Anti-choice extremists use threats of violence, vandalism, harassment, and intimidation to endanger the lives and safety of abortion providers and their patients across America.
Abortion providers and patients have been the targets of:
- Death threats
- Harassing phone calls
The rate of violence and intimidation has skyrocketed since July 2015, when an anti-choice organization—The Center for Medical Progress—released now-discredited, highly edited, and incendiary videos in an attempt to smear Planned Parenthood.
This violence can hinder access to abortion services and threatens the lives of those dedicated to protecting and providing reproductive health care. Some abortion providers are forced to take extreme steps to protect themselves, their families, their staff, and their patients—such as wearing bulletproof vests to work, hiring private security, and installing bulletproof glass in their homes and offices.
Anti-choice extremists also frequently protest outside health clinics, harassing patients, staff, and others in their vicinity. These protesters attempt to scare and shame patients, often attempting to direct them to anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers” that masquerade as medical clinics. Nobody seeking health care should be subjected to such vicious verbal attacks.
Abortion remains a legal, constitutionally protected right. Regardless of one’s opinion on abortion, everyone should agree that women seeking medical services, and the health-care professionals who provide them, should be free from acts of violence, harassment, and intimidation.