Lighting the Way

March 10 is Abortion Provider Appreciation Day. On this day, we celebrate our members who do so much all year long to light the way and help people overcome incredible obstacles and navigate their way to abortion care no matter where they live.

We believe providers, who include clinic administrators; patient advocates; counselors; security personnel; medical assistants; nurses; advanced practice clinicians; physicians; and all clinic staff, deserve to be appreciated and celebrated every day for their compassion, courage, and resilience. We hope you will join us in thanking our members for lighting the way to help people access the abortion care they want and need even in these increasingly challenging times.

What Abortion Providers Want

We asked our members what they want on Abortion Provider Appreciation Day and this is what they said.


Say Thank You

Many of our members have told us that a thank you card or message would make them feel appreciated. You can send one now and help us thank abortion providers for the ways they are lighting the way for their patients and communities.

Thank you


In Memoriam

March 10 was set aside in 1996 as the National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers to honor the life and work of NAF member Dr. David Gunn, the first provider murdered by an anti-abortion extremist.

In the early 1990s, anti-abortion extremists concluded that murdering providers was the only way to stop abortion. In total, there have been 11 murders and 26 attempted murders due to anti-abortion violence, including the most recent attack at a NAF member clinic in Colorado Springs, CO, in 2015. Some of the providers who were murdered were attacked in their own homes or churches.

On Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, we especially honor those whose lives were taken far too soon and those who continue to provide care at great risk and personal sacrifice.

March 10, 1993
July 29, 1994
December 30, 1994
January 29, 1998
October 23, 1998
May 31, 2009
November 22, 2015

Dr. David Gunn

Dr. David Gunn was shot to death by Michael Griffin in Pensacola, Florida. Griffin is serving a life sentence for murder.

Dr. John Bayard Britton and James H. Barrett

Dr. John Bayard Britton and his escort, James H. Barrett were shot and killed in front of a clinic in Pensacola, Florida, by Paul J. Hill. June Barrett was also shot and injured in the incident. Hill was executed by lethal injection on September 3, 2003.

Shannon Lowney and Leanne Nichols

Shannon Lowney (left) and Leanne Nichols (right) were shot and killed by John Salvi at two clinics in Brookline, Massachusetts. Five others were injured in the attacks. Salvi was sentenced to two life terms but committed suicide in prison in November 1996.

Officer Robert Sanderson

Officer Robert Sanderson was killed during a clinic bombing in Birmingham, AL.

Dr. Barnett Slepian

Dr. Barnett Slepian was shot and killed in his home in Amherst, New York. 

Dr. George Tiller


Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed in his church in Wichita, Kansas. Anti-abortion extremist Scott Roeder confessed to the murder and was found guilty of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 50 years.

Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed in his church in Wichita, Kansas. 

Officer Garrett Swasey, Jennifer Markovsky, and Ke'Arre Stewart

Officer Garrett Swasey, Jennifer Markovsky, and Ke'Arre Stewart were shot and killed when an attacker entered a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Help us protect abortion providers

Abortion Provider Appreciation Day was established to commemorate the assassination of NAF member Dr. David Gunn, the first abortion provider to be murdered by an anti-abortion extremist. Since we started tracking incidents of violence against abortion providers in 1977, there have been 11 murders, 26 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 200 arsons, and thousands of incidents of criminal activities directed at abortion providers.

Our members regularly report intimidation tactics, vandalism, death threats, and other activities aimed at disrupting services, harassing providers, and blocking patients’ access to abortion care. NAF provides 24/7 emergency response and security assessments and trainings to abortion providers free of charge. We need your support to continue this work and keep providers safe.