Abortion clinics in USA report threats of violence on the rise – again

The 2016 National Clinic Violence Survey found that anti-abortion violence in 2016 was higher than it’s been in 20 years and with conservative Republican Attorney General Jeff Sessions overseeing law enforcement initiatives that ought to protect providers from harm, many advocates are on edge.

The survey was published by the Feminist Majority Foundation. It found that 34.2% of US abortion providers reported “severe violence or threats of violence” in the first half of 2016. By comparison, there were reports from 19.7% of providers in 2014, and before that, the highest recent peaks were in 1993-95.

The report defines “severe violence or threats of violence” as follows: A combined composite measure of violence, threats, and harassment was defined to include twenty-five variables; eleven severe violence and threat variables (blocking clinic access, invasions, bombings, arson, chemical attacks, stalking, physical violence, gunfire, bomb threats, death threats, arson threats), twelve severe harassment variables (home-picketing, break-ins, robberies, tampering with the garbage dumpster, glue in locks, nails in driveway/parking lot, motor oil in driveway/parking lot, broken windows, graffiti, tampering with phone lines/calls), and four “other” variables (other forms of severe violence, other threats of severe violence, other forms of harassment to staff/physicians, other types of vandalism at the facility), as long as the description of the “other” incident matched our definition of severe harassment, violence, or threats.”

SOURCE: NBC News, by Mary Emily O’Hara, 13 February 2017 ; CHART