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Attacks on Abortion Clinics Rise Since the Overturn of Roe v. Wade

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, attacks on abortion providers, including arson, burglaries, and death threats, increased significantly in 2022, according to a new report. Melissa Fowler of the National Abortion Federation (NAF) described an "organized campaign of harassment and violence against abortion providers," USA Today reports. The federation, the association of abortion providers, compiled data since the U.S. Supreme Court last June struck down the landmark case that protected national abortion rights. “The data is proof of what we have known to be true: anti-abortion extremists have been emboldened by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the cascade of abortion bans that followed," Fowler said. The NAF has been tracking violence and threats against abortion clinics since 1977. In that time, there have been 11 murders, 42 bombings, 200 arsons, 531 assaults, 492 clinic invasions, and 375 burglaries targeting abortion patients, providers, and volunteers.


States where abortion remains legal saw a "disproportionate increase in violence" as anti-abortion activists "were emboldened ... and traveled to states where abortion remained legal to target clinics there," according to the report. The study defines "protective" states as ones classified as "very protective," "protective" or "some restrictions/protections" of abortion rights by the Guttmacher Institute, which supports legal access to abortion. Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado, and Washington state are "protective" states. Fowler said many people may be surprised that incidents and threats of violence continue to rise, despite a spate of abortion clinic closures since Roe v. Wade was struck down. She said the trend doesn't surprise those who have been tracking violence. "I think people assume that when that clinic closes, the protesters just go home and that ends," she said. "But that's not the case… We know that anti-abortion individuals and groups will travel to other states or even move to other communities" to target clinics.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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