The GYN Womenservices clinic, where Dr. Barnett Slepian worked before being shot by a sniper last Friday, will remain open and will continue to provide a broad range of health services including abortion. Doctors throughout the country have volunteered to take over Dr. Slepian’s work at the Buffalo clinic. One such doctor is being flown to Buffalo this week.
Even with the clinic remaining open, the Buffalo region still suffers from a lack of abortion providers. Only three doctors acknowledge performing abortion in the region, and one of those three has quit as a result of Dr. Slepian’s murder. “They killed one and drove another one out,” said volunteer Elizabeth Soles, who had escorted Dr. Slepian to the clinic during anti-abortion protests.
New York Western District U.S. Marshal John McCaffrey relayed that all doctors coming to Buffalo to assist providing health care at the GYN clinic will be protected by increased surveillance and security provided by authorities.
“These doctors were concerned for their safety and we’ll be making sure they arrive safely, depart safely, and nothing happens to them while they are here,” McCaffrey assured.
Officials have reported that an average of 10 protesters picketed the GYN clinic daily. “I think that people who aren’t involved in abortion services don’t realize the high-level security that is the baseline,” said Susan Dudley, Deputy Director of the National Abortion Federation. “We’re not talking about locking doors. Their baseline is way above that of a normal person’s.”
Buffalo police do not plan on stationing officers permanently at the clinic. “If they want security, they need to hire somebody,” Buffalo Police spokesperson Duane Rizzo stated. “They are a private business, but our officers are on alert.”