Kentucky’s last remaining full-time abortion clinic has been vandalized twice in less than one month.
On the night of October 26, EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville suffered a broken window when an unidentified man bolted past protestors across the street and threw his body into the clinic’s window. The clinic’s executive director, Anne, who withheld her name for security reasons, said following the incident, the man walked away calmly, leaving the window in pieces. Just three weeks later on November 11, surveillance cameras captured a male perpetrator kneeling and praying in front of the clinic. According to Anne, forty-five minutes later, the man returned, this time with “a blanket over his head” and in a matter of minutes, hurled a rock through the office’s window before walking away. Louisville police report the clinic sustained some $1600 in damage in the two incidents combined.
The twin incidents in Kentucky are the latest in a spate of vandalism and violence against women’s healthcare providers nationwide, the most recent attacks occurring in the wake of the release of several fraudulent and surreptitiously-recorded videos by anti-abortion group the Center of Medical Progress (CMP). Last month, an intruder wielding a hatchet destroyed telephones and other office equipment in a Planned Parenthood clinic in Claremont, New Hampshire. In September, two clinic were set ablaze by arsonists in Washington state and California respectively. This summer, two clinics in Louisiana suffered property damage in separate incidents of vandalism and in March, trespassers destroyed security cameras and a power generator at Mississippi’s Jackson Women’s Health Center. CMP’s so-called “sting” videos claimed to document the illegal sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood, but have been debunked repeatedly.
For now, Kentucky’s EMW have affirmed their commitment to providing reproductive care and abortions services to the women of Louisville. “We’re not angry, we’re not afraid, we’re just really sad that the mentality out there isn’t more understanding and compassionate for women,” said EMW’s Anne. “They’re not going to intimidate us.”
Media Resources: RH Reality Check 11/17/15, 9/8/15; Feminist Newswire 10/26/15, 9/9/15, 3/25/15; 9/1/15; KTLA 10/1/15