No woman should be afraid to go to her doctor; and no health care professional should have to risk being killed for ensuring that women get safe and legal reproductive health care services. These Americans - like all others - deserve the government’s support against acts of violent extremists.

Since abortion was legalized in this country in 1973, doctors and patients have been murdered, clinics have been vandalized, and ongoing threats have put women and their health care providers at risk.

Murders/Attempted Murders

37

murders or attempted murders by anti-abortion extremists in the United States since 1993.

Violence

7,214

reported acts of violence against abortion providers, including bombings, arsons, death threats, acts of bioterrorism, and assaults since 1977.

Disruption

234,308

reported acts of disruption, including bomb threats, hate mail, and threatening calls targeting abortion providers since 1977.

Violence Increased After David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress Released Their FalseHighly-EditedInflammatory Videos

9x Increase in Harassment

Incidents of harassment against Planned Parenthood increased ninefold during the month of July, 2015, after release of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) videos, compared with June. In the months that followed, there were four arsons targeting abortion clinics, compared with one in 2014 and none in 2013. According to the National Abortion Federation (NAF) which tracks reported incidents of threats and violence against abortion providers, “…2015 statistics reflect a dramatic increase in hate speech and internet harassment, death threats, attempted murder, and murder, which coincided with the release of heavily-edited, misleading, and inflammatory videos beginning in July.” The number of death threats against abortion providers surged in 2015 with 94 reported threats of direct harm in 2015, compared with one in 2014. In addition, incidents of picketing at abortion clinics reached historic levels, increasing more than fourfold from 5,402 reported incidents in 2014 to 21,715 in 2015 — more than ever reported for any other year. Clinic blockades also rose, nearly doubling from 2014 to 2015.

3 People Murdered, 9 Injured in Colorado

On the day after Thanksgiving, an anti-abortion extremist murdered three people, injured nine others, and terrorized doctors and patients at a Planned Parenthood health center in Colorado Springs. A law enforcement official said that the shooter used the phrase “no more baby parts” to explain his attack, and the gunman later admitted his guilt in open court, proclaiming himself a “warrior for the babies."

The sudden uptick in violence and threats against reproductive health care providers was so significant that in September 2015, the FBI issued an Intelligence Assessment warning, "it is likely criminal or suspicious incidents will continue to be directed against reproductive health care providers, their staff and facilities.” This surge in violence also resulted in an order from a U.S. district judge blocking the release of additional videos. In issuing this order, Judge William Orrick of the Northern District of California explained: “after the release of defendants’ first set of … videos and related information in July 2015, there has been a documented, dramatic increase in the volume and extent of threats to and harassment of [abortion providers]"

Robert Lewis Dear is taken into custody outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Photo: Reuters/Rick Wilking

Republicans have used inflammatory language before – and after – murders at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs

“[N]ow, because of undercover videos by The Center for Medical Progress, we know Planned Parenthood is also trafficking in baby parts, turning babies into human guinea pigs while making the abortion industry even richer than before.”

"[V]ideo evidence has revealed shocking practices from Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider. After aborting unborn babies, in many cases, the dead are harvested for organs and body parts, which are then sold for profit."

"Last summer’s videos revealed that something very troubling is going on related to fetal tissue and research. The weak, the vulnerable, those with no voice – harvested and sold – there is something going on, something that deserves investigating and it demands our best moral and ethical thinking. This first hearing on ethics focuses our attention on procuring and transferring baby body parts and related matters."

Rep. Diane Black

"Have we reached a point in our society where there effectively is an amazon.com for human parts, including entire babies?"

Our Words and Our Actions Matter

Republicans may not like the fact that abortion is legal – and therefore safe – for women in this country. But that is no excuse for putting students, researchers, women, and their doctors at risk.
Democrats will continue to fight to keep them safe.
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