Statement of Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF) on arrest of man making online threats following release of highly-edited videos:
Since the release of highly-edited, misleading videos this summer, we have recorded an unprecedented increase in hate speech, threats, and calls to action targeting abortion providers. Some of the most concerning threats were posted online by someone using the screen name “JoseyWhales.” We reported these threats as well as many others to law enforcement.
This type of behavior cannot be tolerated. We are very grateful that the FBI pursued an investigation and was able to identify the person responsible for making the chilling threats. It is imperative that he was arrested and will be prosecuted. People need to understand that there are consequences to making illegal threats online, even under aliases.
Threats like these contribute to a culture where some feel it is justifiable to murder abortion providers simply because they enable women to obtain the abortion care they need. Just last month, a shooter attacked a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic leaving three dead and nine injured.
We cannot sit back while people threaten providers every day. Nor can we be silent while public figures continue to spread lies about abortion providers and engage in inflammatory rhetoric that incites violence. We need to work together to deescalate the threats and extinguish the highly-charged rhetoric before someone else gets hurt.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alissa Manzoeillo, National Abortion Federation
202.667.5881, ext 219; 202.595.4395 (after hours/cell)
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers. Our members include individuals, private and non-profit clinics, Planned Parenthood affiliates, women’s health centers, physicians’ offices, and hospitals who together care for approximately half the women who choose abortion in the U.S. and Canada each year. Our members also include public hospitals and both public and private clinics in Mexico City and private clinics in Colombia.