On December 3, 2022, the NYPD arrested seven clinic defenders, continuing a pattern of heightened aggression against abortion rights activists that began with the arrest of two NYCFAR members during an August 2021 clinic defense. In August 2022, the NYPD’s violent Strategic Response Group arrested six clinic defenders. In November 2022, they arrested two more. The NYPD, and the SRG specifically, regularly shove, elbow and tackle clinic defenders, and obstruct press and legal observers from documenting their brutality.
Copmayor Eric Adams made a big show of strengthening access to abortion in New York when Roe fell, stating that “safe, legal abortion care is the cornerstone of public health in our city.” Yet his administration undermines its purported support for abortion by financing a bloated police budget used to deploy militarized counterterrorism forces against abortion activists and provide dedicated protection to the clinic invaders and harassers affiliated with the Archdiocese of New York.
By design, police act to limit our autonomy, not ensure our rights. This is why they are not dispatched to enforce the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act or ensure that patients and workers can enter clinics safely. Instead, cops act as an armed escort for the anti-abortion far-right, continuing to take direction from Witness for Life leader Fidelis Moscinski, despite the latter having an active restraining order that prohibits him from being within 500 feet of any reproductive health facility. The NYPD has determined that an anti-abortion zealot with a history of invading clinics, who recently padlocked a Long Island Planned Parenthood, has more of a right to harass patients than patients do to seek care with safety and dignity.
As NYC increasingly becomes a destination for people impacted by the abortion bans sweeping the country, it’s more important than ever for us to confront fascism at our clinics and in our streets, cops and antis alike. It is up to us to defend abortion access and keep each other safe. We won’t stop until the vicinity of our clinics are free of cops and antis.
We call on the City Council to fully disband the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group and keep the NYPD away from our clinics.
NYC for Abortion Rights
Crown Heights CARE Collective
Sign up to testify against the SRG at City Council’s January 23, 2023 Public Safety hearing.
RSVP to NYCLU’s next SRG campaign meeting (December 16 at 6pm, on Zoom).
The Crown Heights CARE Collective is a community-led Brooklyn-based organization that develops community alternatives to policing and the violences of the state through shared access to resources, political education, and practical education. Twitter: @chcarecollectiv | Instagram: @chcarecollective