National Abortion Federation Releases 2021 Violence & Disruption Report

For Immediate Release: May 19, 2022
Media Contacts: 
Claire Connolly,

The report shows biggest increases in stalking, bomb threats, invasions, and assault & battery.

NATIONAL – Today, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) released its 2021 statistics on violence and disruption against abortion providers. The statistics show a significant increase in stalking (600%), blockades (450%), hoax devices/suspicious packages (163%), invasions (129%), and assault and battery (128%). 

NAF has been compiling statistics on incidents of violence and disruption against abortion providers for 45 years. Since 1977, there have been 11 murders, 42 bombings, 196 arsons, 491 assaults, and thousands of incidents of criminal activities directed at patients, providers, and volunteers. 

“Unfortunately, since abortion was legalized, there has been an organized campaign of harassment and violence against abortion providers that continues today. The 2021 Violence & Disruption Statistics show a concerning, but sadly unsurprising, increase in intimidation tactics, vandalism, and other activities aimed at disrupting services, harassing providers, and blocking patients’ access to abortion care,” said Melissa Fowler, Chief Program Officer, National Abortion Federation

Fowler added, “These statistics help us track threats, identify trends, and enhance our security programs. But it’s important to remember that there are real people behind these numbers. Harassment and violence have no place in health care and people should be able to provide and access abortion care without interference, intimidation, or threats.

“Let’s be clear—many of the people who perpetrate these attacks against abortion providers are members of known extremist and white supremacist organizations, and are the same people who stormed the Capitol on January 6th to try and overthrow the government. 

“In the wake of the recently leaked Supreme Court decision, our members across the country have already experienced an escalation in harassment and threats and unfortunately, we expect the situation to worsen once a formal opinion has been released. The National Abortion Federation remains committed to providing our members with comprehensive security support to protect their safety and ensure they are able to continue delivering essential abortion care.”

Notable statistics from 2021: 

  • Assaults have risen from 15 in 2018, to 123 in 2021. 
  • Stalking has increased by 600% since 2020. 
  • Invasions have increased by 129%
  • 71 hoax devices or suspicious packages were reported at clinics, compared to 4 in 2018. 
  • Bomb threats saw an 80% increase in comparison to previous years.

View the full report: 2021 Violence and Disruption Statistics

NAF provides a number of critical security resources to abortion providers in order to keep staff and their patients safe, including 24/7 emergency response, staff preparedness trainings, facility and residential security assessments, and law enforcement assistance when desired and appropriate.


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