Violence Against Abortion Providers Continues to Rise Following Roe Reversal, New Report Finds
For Embargoed Release: May 11, 2023 6am ET
Contact: Claire Connolly, firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Abortion Federation’s 2022 Violence & Disruption Report found a sharp increase in violence in protective states as clinics in ban states closed
NATIONAL—Today, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) released its 2022 statistics on violence and disruption against abortion providers and clinics. The report shows increases in major incidents like arsons, burglaries, death threats, and invasions overall; a sharp increase in violence and disruption in states that are protective of abortion rights; and anti-abortion centers ramping up efforts to deceive and obstruct patients seeking abortion care.
NAF has been tracking these incidents for over 45 years. Since 1977, there have been 11 murders, 42 bombings, 200 arsons, 531 assaults, 492 clinic invasions, 375 burglaries, and thousands of other incidents of criminal activities directed at patients, providers, and volunteers.
“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. As clinics closed in states with bans, extremists have simply shifted their focus to the states where abortion remains legal and protected, where our members have reported major increases in assaults, stalking, and burglaries,” said Melissa Fowler, Chief Program Officer at the National Abortion Federation. “Despite experiencing one of the most devastating years in reproductive access, abortion providers persevere. Our members have remained steadfast in their duty to provide care by accommodating an increase in out-of-state patients, tracking local legislation, and traveling to different states to provide care—all while dealing with daily threats of violence. The National Abortion Federation provides our members with 24/7 security support and preparedness trainings to protect their safety and ensure they are able to continue delivering essential care to their communities.”
NAF’s 2022 Violence & Disruption Report represents an unprecedented year in abortion access as the Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade, forcing dozens of clinics across the country to close amidst state-level abortion bans and anti-abortion extremism. For the clinics that remain open, many experienced a higher level of disruption this past year. To hear firsthand from providers who have experienced disruption this past year, visit NAF’s new provider incident map HERE.
Notable statistics from 2022:
- Stalking rose 229% (from 28 in 2021 to 92 in 2022)
- Burglary rose 231% (from 13 in 2021 to 43 in 2022)
- Arson increased by 100% (from 2 in 2021 to 4 in 2022)
- Invasions increased by 25% (from 16 in 2021 to 20 in 2022)
- There was a 100% increase in anthrax/bioterrorism threats in the past decade (from 2 between 2010-2021 to 4 in 2022)
- Protective states saw a disproportionate increase in violence and disruption:
- Assault and batteries increased by 29% (from 7 in 2021 to 9 in 2022)
- Burglaries increased by 100% (from 5 in 2021 to 10 in 2022)
- Stalking increased by 913% (from 8 in 2021 to 81 in 2022)
- Hoax Devices/Suspicious Packages increased by 21% (from 47 in 2021 to 57 in 2022)
- Bomb threats increased by 133% (from 3 in 2021 to 7 in 2022)
- Picketing increased by 21% (from 33,907 in 2021 to 40,863 in 2022)
- Obstructions increased 538% (from 45 in 2021 to 287 in 2022)
“The threat of violence against abortion providers remains on the rise and is extremely concerning. In addition to an increase in major incidents, extremists are becoming more organized; for example, we’re seeing them target clinics on days when they know they will have more patients, are shorter staffed, or have less security,” Michelle Davidson, Security Director, National Abortion Federation. “Anti-abortion extremists have also shifted their attention to protective states after dozens of clinics were forced to close in states that banned abortion, which has led to alarming levels of disruption for many of these clinics. NAF is helping these clinics bolster their security services to address the increased incidents of burglary, obstruction of clinic entrances, and stalking.”
NAF provides a number of critical security resources to clinics in order to keep providers 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.
The National Abortion Federation is the nation’s largest and leading professional association of abortion providers. NAF represents hundreds of providers and clinics across the country who are on the frontlines of helping people access abortion care. They provide members with trainings, security support, quality assurance, and an important community. NAF also operates the National Abortion Hotline, the largest national, multi-lingual abortion hotline in the U.S., that helps anyone in any state understand their care options, including finding a provider, arranging travel to another state, or funding their care. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram.
National Abortion Hotline: 1-800-772-9100.