We are outraged by the overwhelming hate and continuous violence targeted toward those who seek and provide abortions. Planned Parenthood in particular, and abortion providers across the United States, have been targets for violent extremists who seek to take away bodily autonomy and reproductive power. As the dishonest rhetoric ratchets up, threats have not only increased but become physical attacks.
Like many others in our community, we spent Friday, November 27th heartbroken as we watched the 5-hour armed standoff at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic that ended in the loss of three lives, numerous injuries, and trauma. The patients, doctors, nurses, volunteers and families impacted by this tragedy are the very people we work with and for each day as abortion funds. So this hits home.
As a community of patients, staff, clinic escorts, and volunteers, we’ve witnessed the measures that clinics must take, unlike any other health care provider, to work safely. From bullet proof glass and vests to stringent safety procedures, fear of attacks has made many abortion clinics into something closer to a bunker to protect those within. Even those measures weren’t enough to prevent the loss of lives on Friday. We refuse to accept fear and violence as a normal reality of giving or receiving health care.
We are grieving with you. Today our love and support knows no bounds.
We speak of heroes often. Whether having an abortion or providing an abortion, we know first hand the strength and bravery it takes to get up once more in the face of hostility and harassment. Our lives should not be under attack for the legal and moral right to access or provide abortion care. Our country has an obligation to do infinitely better to preserve the rights of health care providers, patients and families to compassionate care.
We are allied with you. People who work in direct abortion services are not just our colleagues; they are our friends and allies in a fight that can often feel scary and vulnerable. Those of us who work to increase access through abortion funds also wake up every day ready to battle the stigma and danger that awaits providers and patients through organizing, advocating and building our collective strength to demand cultural and political change. We continued today, and we will continue tomorrow.
We will fight back. Our movement is strong, and our community will persevere. Let us use truth, solidarity, and love in the face of lies and hate.