Anti-abortion violence and harassment outside of reproductive health clinics happens on a daily basis everywhere in the United States (including in “blue” states).
Since 1977, the National Abortion Federation has documented 11 murders, 42 bombings, 196 arsons, 491 assaults, and thousands of incidents of criminal activities directed at abortion clinic patients, providers, and volunteers. The most common forms of violence clinics report include blocking access to and invasions of clinics, stalking, death threats, and bomb threats.
Here in New York City, multiple groups intimidate and harass patients outside of clinics. Witness for Life, a Catholic anti-abortion group sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York, has weekly processions to various clinics around the five boroughs. Love Life, a primarily Evangelical group founded in North Carolina, also has weekly “prayer walks” to the Manhattan Planned Parenthood. Other groups pray outside clinics as well, such as Orthodox Pro-Life. Lone actors like Bevelyn Beatty and Edmee Chavannes have gone as far as to enter multiple NYC clinics and yell at patients and workers.
We believe directly confronting anti-abortion extremists outside of clinics and reclaiming spaces that belong to us is essential to building a fighting movement for reproductive rights and justice.
We adopt the Bay Area Coalition against Operation Rescue’s philosophy that:
Our first line of defense for protection of reproductive rights is self defense. We cannot rely on courts, police or legislatures to protect our fundamental rights to control our bodies and reproductive options.
Currently, we have clinic defense on the first Saturday of every month. We meet at 8 am sharp at the corner of Mott Street and Prince Street in Manhattan (outside of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral). We hope you can join us!