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In anticipation of the Supreme Court releasing its Dobbs ruling, the Associated Press warned on Wednesday of violence against providers. It wasn’t until paragraph 14 that the AP finally recognized the recent and actual violence against pro-lifers, but since many do not read past the headline or first couple paragraphs, they probably missed that important detail.
The article, authored by Sara Burnett, begins by profiling Philadelphia abortion provider Amanda Kifferly, reporting that she has learned how to search for bombs “And on the night of last winter’s arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case that could end the nationwide right to abortion, people gathered outside a clinic in New Jersey with lawn chairs, a cooler and a flaming torch — a sight that brought to mind lynchings and other horrors of the country’s racist past, says Kifferly, who now serves as vice president for abortion access.”
After going through some history, Burnett writes:
They’re preparing for an increase in violence once the Supreme Court rules, saying there has historically been a spike when the issue of abortion gets widespread public attention, such as after a state approves new restrictions. If the decision ends Roe v. Wade — as a leaked draft opinion indicates may happen — they also anticipate protests, harassment and other violence to be more concentrated and intensify in states where abortion remains legal.
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Burnett also quoted the National Abortion Federation’s chief program officer, Melissa Fowler as declaring, “We know from experience, it’s not like the people protesting clinics in banned states just pack up and go home.”
That quote also made its way onto a promotional image that the AP’s Twitter account used to promote the article. Later in the article Burnett declared that threats have more than doubled since 2020, which was blamed on President Trump:
Abortion providers reported an uptick after Donald Trump became president, and ‘extremists felt like it was OK for them not to be in the shadows,’ Fowler said. The coronavirus pandemic seemed to exacerbate things, Kifferly said, and in all four states where The Women’s Centers operates — New Jersey, Connecticut, Georgia and Pennsylvania — ‘we were besieged by protesters’ angry that abortion clinics were open while their churches or businesses were closed.
It wasn’t until paragraph 12 that Burnett finally got around to potential violence against pro-lifers, only to downplay it, “Abortion opponents also have been targets of violence, and say they’ve also seen an increase in incidents since the draft opinion leaked, though the FBI in a 2020 memo described the incidents as historically ‘rare.’”
Finally, in paragraph 14, after citing the DHS memo that warns of violence by both sides, Burnett cited real violence, “Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America said there were more than 40 incidents of violence, intimidation and vandalism at pregnancy centers and churches in recent weeks.”
After citing the assassination attempt against Justice Kavanaugh, Burnett got back to the real story, “As for what might occur next for abortion providers, much focus has been on how to provide care to people seeking it, should abortion be banned in more states. But Fowler said another concern is also front of mind: ‘We also need to focus on safety.’”
Speaking of the lack of safety, Wednesday alone brought the news of two more attacks on pro-life organizations and campaign offices in Michigan, which is exactly the same amount of sentences as pro-abortion violence received from Burnett.