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1994 Clinic Violence Survey Report

Anti-Abortion Violence Unabated in 1994

"We have been confronted and attacked more violently than ever. Protesters stalk our physicians, staff, and patients, slash their tires, vandalize their cars, write and call in death threats."

--Testimony by Susan Hill, President, National Women's Health Organization, before Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice, U.S. House of Representatives, September 21, 1994

Violence against clinics and health care workers continued unabated in 1994. Of the clinics surveyed, 51.9% experienced one or more types of violence in the first seven months of 1994, compared with 50.2% of clinics surveyed during the same period in 1993. These forms of violence included death threats, stalking, chemical attacks, bombings and bomb threats, invasions, arson and arson threats, and blockades.

As Table I shows, 27.4% (86) clinics experienced one type of violence, 15.6% (49) were the targets of two types of violence, 6.7% (21) of clinics reported three types of violence, and 2.2% (7) experienced four or more types of violence.

Table 1: Clinics Experiencing One or More Types of Violence, 1993 and 1994.

When additional types of violence were assessed in the 1994 survey, the numbers of clinics experiencing multiple types of violence rose significantly. Of the 314 clinics included in the study, 66.7% experienced one or more forms of violence after additional variables of home picketing, vandalism, and gunfire were measured. While 24.8% (78) experienced one form of violence, almost half of the clinics (42%) that responded to the survey were subjected to multiple forms of violence during the first seven months of 1994. Reporting two or more forms of violence were 19.7% (62) clinics; 12.4% (39) were subjected to three types of violence; 5.4% (17) were subjected to four types of violence; 2.5% (8) were subjected to five types of violence; and 1.9% (6) clinics were subjected to six or more types of violence. (See Table 2).

Table 2: Clinics Experiencing One or More Types of Violence, including Gunfire, Home Picketing, and Vandalism, 1994.

Violent acts against clinics and health care workers were not limited to specific states or regions of the country. The survey reveals especially severe anti abortion violence in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. (See Appendix B.) High levels of violence also were reported in Arkansas, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Vermont. Anti-abortion violence in these states is not prohibited because of confidentiality concerns stemming from the small number of clinics in these locations.