In her first week of working at a Philadelphia clinic offering abortions, Amanda Kieferly learned how to see the bum. A year later, protesters blocked the entrance and exit of the women’s clinic, at one point surrounded her and pushed her from side to side.
On the last day the Supreme Court heard a case that could have ended abortion rights, people gathered outside a New Jersey clinic who were hooked, holding a cooler and a lit torch, a scene that sparked several lynchings. Used to remind And other horrors associated with racism in the past, according to Kieferly, who is now vice president of the women’s clinic, in charge of the unit that oversees access to abortion.
These episodes are common in health centers that offer abortions since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Lowered.
There were serious episodes of violence, including bombings, arson, and murders, such as the 1993 death of Dr. David Gunn outside an abortion clinic in Florida and the shooting of three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Florida. Colorado in 2015.
Health centers and some police departments are now preparing for a possible outbreak of violence when the Supreme Court will deliver its verdict. They say that, historically, violent episodes tend to increase when the abortion issue rises to prominence, such as when a state imposes new restrictions. If we cry Wade – as indicated by a leaked draft – anticipated that there would be acts of protest, harassment and violence in states where abortion is still legal.
“From experience we know that people who protest in front of clinics where abortion is prohibited don’t put their belongings away and go home,” said Melissa Fowler of the National Abortion Federation (FNA).
According to Fowler, that organization and hundreds of clinics offering abortions have declared a “state of high alert” since the Supreme Court judges’ opinion leaked. Your organization has 24-hour staff ready to intervene when violence occurs. They also visit clinics and rehearsals on how to respond to violence or bomb threats and give advice on where to install security cameras. They also analyze the risks doctors may run into at home, monitor threats over the network, and maintain liaison with the police, who sometimes send agents or install cameras to protect clinics.
However, the relationship between clinics and police isn’t always good, and clinics must assess whether an officer’s presence could intimidate patients, according to Fowler. Kieferly says that collaboration between clinics and police varies by city and state. She remembers once asking an officer for help when she was being assaulted in front of a clinic in Philadelphia and the officer told her to call 911.
The FNA, which collects information about harassment and violence in clinics from more than 500 of its members, last year reported an increase in such incidents in 2020, for which it has data. With more than 24,000 clinics reporting threats or harassment via email or social media, the number of threats, including death threats and assault, has more than doubled.
Fowler said the allegations escalated after Donald Trump took office and “extremists felt they no longer had to hide.” Kieferly said the coronavirus pandemic is making things worse. In the four states where women’s centers operate (New Jersey, Connecticut, Georgia and Pennsylvania) “we were harassed” by protesters who complained that clinics remained open while their churches and businesses were closed.
Opponents of abortion have also been attacked and claim that incidents escalated after the Supreme Court draft was leaked. However, an FBI report said in 2020 that harassment of abortion opponents has historically been “rare.”
Shortly after the Supreme Court’s draft ruling was leaked, the Department of Homeland Security’s Department of Intelligence and Analysis said the draft raised the potential for violence from both sides.
Pro-Life America’s Susan B. Anthony said there have been more than 40 incidents of violence, intimidation and sabotage at pregnancy centers and churches in recent weeks.
In early June, a man was detained near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home overnight with a gun, daggers, ropes and other items. The man announced that he wanted to kill the judge for the eraser and for a massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
The Supreme Court is expected to deliver its verdict in the coming days or weeks.