"[A]rson, murder, assault, stalking, talking, home picketing, business loss, death threats, community protest, religious and racial attacks, hate mail, and targeted internet postings."
Providers are targeted at home, in their churches, and in their neighborhoods (protesters will place signs and fliers around the neighborhood decrying what the providers do for a living). Their kids are harassed at school. Some doctors and nurses who practice in hospitals as well as in abortion clinics are harassed by their hospital colleagues, their careers endangered by other doctors’ disdain. And, of course, they’re targeted at work. Half of the eight murders of abortion providers since 1993 occurred at work.
And the ways that protesters have come up with to interfere with providers’ work at their clinics is staggering in its length and diversity: “bombings, arson, anthrax scares, and mass blockades,” Cohen and Connon write. “Extremists have also thrown butyric acid into clinics, glued clinic locks shut, locked themselves into clinic property using items such as bicycle locks or chains, drilled holes into clinic roofs so that the clinic floods, invaded clinics, vandalized clinics, made threatening phone calls, tried to persuade patients to go to fake clinics, put spikes in driveways, talked outside clinics about bomb-making chemicals, laid down on sidewalks, jumped on cars, camped out in front of clinics for multiple-day stretches, and sent decoy patients into clinics to disrupt business.”
Between harassment at work and threats at home, church, and even at the supermarket and the airport, the intended message for providers is one they receive loud and clear: “You are not safe anywhere.”
The Subculture of Embattled Abortion Workers [Chloe Angyal/New Republic]
(Image: Black - Abortion protester van, Dave Walker, CC-BY-SA)