For Immediate Release

January 16, 2019

Almost Half of U.S. Abortion Clinics Experience Severe Violence, Threats of Severe Violence, and/or Severe Harassment According to New Feminist Majority Foundation Survey

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) today released the results from the 2018 National Clinic Violence Survey, finding that severe anti-abortion violence and threats against clinics, doctors, and staff remains dangerously high.

Important highlights include:

    • 23.8% of clinics experienced the most severe types of threats and violence in the first half of 2018, including death threats, stalking, and blocking clinic access.
    • Nearly half of clinics (45%) experienced at least one incident of severe violence, threats of severe violence, and/or severe harassment, such as break-ins, robberies, or vandalism, in the first half of 2018.
    • Clinics that rated their experience with law enforcement as “poor” or “fair” were twice as likely to experience high levels of severe violence or harassment (28%) than those that rated local law enforcement “good” or “excellent” (15.1%).
    • The overwhelming majority of clinics (88%) reported experiencing some type of anti-abortion activity in the first half of 2018, with 62% of providers experiencing activity at least once a week.

More on the survey is available here.

“Severe anti-abortion violence, threats, and harassment impact almost half of comprehensive reproductive healthcare providers. This is quite simply unacceptable and outrageous. We demand an end to the persecution of patients, clinic staff, and doctors,” said duVergne Gaines, director of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Clinic Access Project. “If confirmed as the next Attorney General, William Barr should immediately commit to investigating, prosecuting, and preventing this form of domestic terrorism.”

“No lawful business should have to put up with the level of threats that clinics and doctors are experiencing—let alone a health care facility providing women constitutionally guaranteed reproductive health services,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “Thankfully, thousands of volunteer escorts and clinic defenders all across the nation, together with dedicated health care workers, are keeping clinics safe and open. Domestic terrorists must not be allowed to control women’s lives and deny women basic health care services.”

The survey has been released ahead of the annual anti-abortion March for Life scheduled for Friday, January 18, 2019 and ahead of the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.


The Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Clinic Access Project, which was launched in 1989, leads efforts nationwide to reduce anti-abortion violence, keep women’s health personnel and patients safe, keep clinics open, and bring anti-abortion extremists to justice.

The 2018 National Clinic Violence Survey tracks the rates of clinic violence in the first six months of 2018, measuring responses from 218 independent and affiliated abortion providers from across the country. This is the Feminist Majority Foundation’s 15th comprehensive nationwide survey of women’s health clinics conducted since 1993. You can find our previous survey reports here.


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