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Feminist News


April-04-96

New Survey Finds Sharp Decline In Clinic Violence

A newly released survey by the Feminist Majority Foundation has found that clinics reported a sharp decline in anti-abortion violence in 1995, marking the first time violence decreased in all categories. The number of clinics reporting incidents of anti-abortion violence dropped substantially from 51.9% in 1994 to 38.6% in 1995, according to the annual survey, conducted as a part of the Foundations National Clinic Defense Project.

"The good news is that across the board clinics are reporting less violence. The bad news is that a significant proportion of clinics -- over one-third -- are still plagued by anti-abortion violence, and this violence is dangerously targeted at physicians and clinic staff," said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation. Smeal attributed the overall decline in violence to the intensified enforcement of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act by the federal government, along with improved local and state law enforcement response to clinic violence.

The types of violence measured in the survey included: death threats, stalking, bomb threats, bombings, chemical attacks, blockades, invasions, arson, and arson threats. The survey, which covered violence committed during the first seven months of 1995, was completed by 310 clinics, including facilities in 44 states and American Somoa. Almost 95% of these clinics offer a full range of gynecological and other health services in addition to abortion.

Media Resources: The Feminist Majority Foundation - April 3, 1996; The New York Times - April 4, 1996