What are important protests/defenses that happened at abortion clinics?
November 23, 2021 11:32 AM   Subscribe

What are the most important or most famous moments in abortion clinic protests/invasions, or abortion clinic defense? I was talking to a current abortion rights advocate, and she mentioned the Wichita protests and Buffalo clinic defense in 1991 as being important actions, and I'm curious what other critical or impactful clinic events I should research.
posted by andoatnp to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You might look at the entire career of Henry Morgentaler in Canada - he was a tireless advocate for abortion legalization and access.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 11:48 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]

There has been so much tireless work done and so many hard battles fought throughout the history of pro-choice movements that it's difficult to make a short list. I'm from Buffalo and I vividly recall the "Spring of Life" you mentioned (we called it the "Spring of Lies") and I remember when those assholes came back the year after the horrific murder of Barnett Slepian.

A couple of important movements that come to my mind are:

Jane the Abortion Counseling Service of Women's Liberation, provided underground access to safe abortions in Chicago.

rallied to amend the Irish Constitution.

Thanks for asking this question. This is a crucial time for abortion rights activism and I'm looking forward to learning from other answers.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 5:04 PM on November 23 [2 favorites]

On its publications and resources page, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada has a list (current as of 2015) of Anti-choice Terrorism: Murders and Attempted Murders (pdf) in North America. They also have an Abortion History and Law section that you might want to have a look at (and includes links to more info on Henry Morgantaler, mentioned above).

Going back a bit, there's the Southern Poverty Law Center's 1998 writeup on the nexus of far-right "Patriots," neo-Nazis, and anti-abortion activism in the U.S., which was one hell of a canary in the coal mine:

Anti-abortion bombings related: In today's extreme anti-abortion circles, 'Patriots' and racists join existing members, with explosive results.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:35 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]

Apologies for the missing second bit of my answer. I meant to link to Together for Yes which was an umbrella org that rallied to amend the Irish Constitution.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 5:37 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Just to be clear - I'm most interested in conflicts that took place physically at clinics that perform abortions, whether that is from anti-choice or pro-abortion forces.
posted by andoatnp at 8:51 PM on November 23

Thanks for clarifying. Clinic defenders and clinic escorts have unfortunately been discouraged from engaging with the movement. My local abortion clinic no longer has escorts. This 2019 Jacobin Magazine article by an abortion rights activist explains the issue.

I'm pretty sure the other side is still out there harassing patients.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 4:56 AM on November 24

In 1994, an anti-abortion nut case murdered two women who were staff at a Planned Parenthood in Brookline, MA.
posted by Sublimity at 6:55 PM on November 24

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