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40 Days of Accompaniment: Week 4

March 6, 2024

Welcome to week four of 40 Days of Accompaniment.

If you’re participating in our Lenten series, you’ve become familiar with the spiritual violence caused by groups like the so-called “40 Days for Life.” Now, we need to discuss the physical threats to clinics and providers.

Today kicks off #CelebrateAbortionProviders Week — an expansion of National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day that aims to uplift and celebrate everyone who provides abortion care.

Can you help us celebrate abortion providers by leaving them a thank you note? 

We honor Abortion Provider Appreciation Day annually on March 10 to commemorate the life of Dr. David Gunn, who was murdered by a white supremacist, anti-choice extremist who claimed he was acting on behalf of God.

It’s been 31 years since Dr. Gunn was murdered outside his clinic, yet violence and harassment against abortion care workers and their patients continues to increase.  

Our opposition touts that “148 abortion facilities have gone out of business following 40 Days for Life campaigns” and that “other abortion facilities have experienced sharp setbacks, cutting back hours and closing for days at a time” due to this harassment.  And they aren’t just talking about the more conservative states — their attacks on clinics stretch to much more “progressive” places, like the Bronx and New York City.

Here are some statistics from our friends at the National Abortion Federation:

  • In the past 47 years, clinics, providers, and volunteers have experienced 11 murders, 42 bombings, 200 arsons, 531 assaults, 492 clinic invasions, 375 burglaries, and thousands of other acts of harassment and intimidation.
  • There was a 20% increase in death threats and other threats of harm to clinics in 2022 compared to 2021.
  • From 2020 to 2021, clinic staff reported a 200% increase in incidents of stalking at clinics across the U.S., and from 2021 to 2022 there was a 229% increase in stalking incidents.
  • From 2018 to 2021, instances of assault and battery outside clinics grew from 15 per year to 123 per year.
  • From 2020 to 2021, there was 51% increase in vandalism at abortion clinics, including bullets fired through windows, damage to HVAC equipment, and cutting of power sources in addition to signs being damaged.
  • In 2022 there was a slight decrease in clinic violence, but NAF believes it is because the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the subsequent state-level abortion bans prompted more clinics to close.

The so-called “40 Days for Life” claims to be peaceful protestors, but their targeting of clinic workers and patients is dangerous. There is nothing peaceful about harassing people entering an abortion clinic — and their demonstrations lend credibility to more radical acts of hate. Abortion providers and seekers deserve better.

That’s why we’re asking you to join us today to show love and appreciation for clinic workers by sending them a thank you note. Sign the card here.


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