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Clinic Violence

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Stories

Alicia, 35

At 19 weeks pregnant I found out my baby had spina bifida very severely. My husband and I went to a clinic a week later where we were harassed by protestors.

Marketia, 54

At 18 weeks during the fifth and six pregnancies birth defects that were "incompatible with life" were diagnosed

On May 31, 2009, Dr. George Tiller was murdered inside his church in Wichita, Kansas. He was killed because he was a doctor who provided abortion services.

Every day, the brave men and women who work in health centers face threats of murder, violence, and intimidation. Even the patients who visit these clinics are harassed. Anti-choice extremists use these tactics to block women's access to medical care.

Anti-choice intimidation and violence is unacceptable.

The Challenge

Here is a list of the kind of violence that providers, their families, and patients face:

  • Murder
  • Bombing
  • Arson
  • Death threats
  • Kidnapping
  • Assault
  • Harassing phone calls
  • Stalking
  • Vandalism

Abortion providers must protect themselves, their families, their staff, and their patients. Many doctors and nurses wear bullet-proof vests to work. It's no surprise that there aren't enough doctors willing to provide abortion services.

The Supreme Court decision in McCullen v. Coakley put women and health-care providers at greater risk. The high court overturned Massachusetts' buffer zone law, which provided an area free from anti-choice harassment and intimidation outside of abortion clinics.

Our Solution

While Massachusetts' law was overturned, many other states still have buffer zone laws in place. We must continue to pass these essential protections.

We must also call on the police and other law officials to enforce these laws. Protecting women and their health-care providers must be a priority.

There are many ways you can help:

  • Volunteer to be a clinic escort
  • Donate to your local clinic
  • Show your appreciation for clinic staff with letters of support and appreciation


Laws About Clinic Violence

Summary of State and Federal Laws

Protection Against Clinic Violence

16 states and the District of Columbia have laws that protect health-care facilities, providers, and/or patients from blockades, harassment, and/or other violence: CA, CO, CT, DC, KS, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MT, NV, NY, NC, OR, WA, WI.

  • 3 of these states have buffer zones that protect patients and clinic personnel from unwanted harassment within specified distances from clinics: CO, MA, MT.



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