Note: We continue to give away a 4000 Years for Choice poster each week. Comment on this post to be entered in the weekly drawings.
This Saturday — March 10th — is Abortion Provider Appreciation Day.
Why March 10th?
Because on that date in 1993, David Gunn, MD was shot and killed by an anti-abortion protestor as he walked from his car to a clinic in Pensacola, Florida. Gunn’s murder occurred at a time when violent crimes committed against reproductive health care providers and abortion clinics had been steadily rising for fifteen years. Murder, kidnapping, assault, threatening, arson, bombing – the litany sounds like a terrorist toolkit.
As a result of Dr. Gunn’s murder, the U.S. Senate decided that the conduct of anti-choice extremists was interfering with the constitutional right of women to receive reproductive health care services, especially abortion. In 1994, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act became law.
The new law prohibited behaviors that made it difficult or dangerous to get in and/or out of an abortion care facility. Although the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act dramatically reduced the number of violent assaults against abortion providers and facilities, the violence continues. On New Year’s Day of this year, a family planning clinic in Pensacola, Florida was firebombed and burned to the ground.
The violence and threats of violence in the U.S. have taken a toll on abortion access.