Abortion Clinics Under Siege
by Warren M. Hern
IN RONALD REAGAN’S “City on a
Hill,” abortion clinics must have bullet-proof windows. Doctors who do abortions must have
bodyguards. It’s “Morning in
Since Ronald Reagan took office, at least 780 violent or aggressive incidents toward abortion clinics have occurred; 57 involved bombing or arson, and 14 have resulted in complete destruction of the facilities, according to the National Abortion Federation.
In 1987, the Alan Guttmacher Institute published the results of a survey
of harassment of
Ronald Reagan has attacked abortion in his public speeches, writings and policies. His most important recent attack was in his State of the Union message last Jan. 25. His remarks were followed five days later by issuance of severely restrictive regulations forbidding federally funded family planning clinics from even mentioning abortion to patients.
On Feb. 2, the Planned Parenthood Federation and several clinics in
The next day, shots were fired at my office, the Boulder Abortion Clinic.
I find it necessary from time to time to work under the protection of armed private security guards. We have installed several layers of bullet-proof windows and other expensive security measures. We are now more secure, but less free.
Ronald Reagan is the first American president to make opposition to abortion a prime tenet of his political appeal, and he is the first to invoke both official and unofficial strategies to accomplish his goal.
The Reagan/Bush administration has shown implacable hostility to reproductive freedom and to the right to have a safe abortion in particular. The 1988 Republican platform is the third opposing abortion, and George Bush has ardently courted the anti-abortion vote.
All this since 1980 has divided the country even more deeply about a difficult, painful, personal issue that has no place in partisan politics. It has produced intolerable problems for those of us who try to provide safe abortion services for women who need them. It has done nothing to lessen our determination to do so.
It has emboldened the self-righteous and intolerant opposition to
continue its harassment. The newly
formed “Operation Rescue” movement has demonstrated in
It may be morning in the Oval office, but out here in
Dr. Warren M. Hern, a physician, is director of the Boulder Abortion Clinic and author of “Abortion Practice”.