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1995 Clinic Violence Survey Report

Table of Contents | Methodology | Key Findings | Violence Declines | Levels of Violence | Death Threats, Home Picketing, and Stalking | Decreases in Violence | One in Ten Clinics Lose Staff | One in Five Clinics Reported FACE Violations | Law Enforcement Response Improved | Levels of Violence Correlate with Law Enforcement Response | Legal Protections | Conclusions | Appendix A | Appendix B

Clinics ranked state law enforcement response lower. State law enforcement response was identified as by 15.5% of clinics as excellent, 24.5% as good, and 8.1% as poor. These results, however, showed significant improvement in state response since 1994, when 7.3% of clinics reported state response as excellent, 15.9% as good, and 8.9% as poor.

The 1995 survey results also suggested that clinics were interacting more with law enforcement officials at all levels than in the past. In 1995, only 15% of clinics responded "don't know" to questions abou local law enforcement response, compared with 22.9% in 1994. Slightly over one half of clinics (51.9%) were unable to describe state law enforcement response to clinic violence, but this still represented improvement since 1994 when 67.8% could not characterize state enforcement efforts. Similarly, 35.8% of clinics in 1995 responded “don’t know” when asked to rank federal law enforcement response, compared with 60.2% in 1994.

Another measure found a significant number of clinics in 1995 interacted with federal officials. Over two-thirds (68.1%) of clinics reported that they had been contacted by U.S. marshals about clinic violence.

Most clinics reported little change in local, state, or federal response to clinic violence when asked to compare 1995 levels of response with their experiences in 1994. The plurality of clinics said local (46.1%), state (40.6%), and federal (42.3%) response Òremained the sameÓ as in the previous year. Very few clinics reported that law enforcement response at any level had declined.

Clinics reported the most improvement in local law enforcement response, followed by federal response. Of the clinics, 34.5% said local law enforcement response had “improved,” while 26.5% noted improvements in response from federal law enforcement. 17.7% of clinics said state law enforcement response had “improved.”

Levels of Violence Correlate with Law Enforcement Response

A clear relationship between clinic violence and law enforcement response emerged from the 1995 survey data. Only 11% of clinics reporting excellent local law enforcement experienced high levels of violence, compared with 33.3% of clinics who reported poor law enforcement response.

A similar pattern appeared in relation to state law enforcement response. Of those clinics experiencing a poor state law enforcement response, 28% report high levels of clinic violence; only 14.6% of clinics reporting excellent state law enforcement response experienced high levels of violence.

Death threats, in particular, are consistently related to local, state, and federal law enforcement response. Better law enforcement response corresponded with fewer death threats. Bombings/bomb threats, vandalism, and death threats had statistically significant relationships with federal law enforcement response. Statistically significant relationships also were found between local law enforcement response and death threats, stalking, vandalism, blockades, and invasions. Stalking and death threats were the only two types of violence that correlated with state law enforcement response at a significant level.