The Families of Victims of Anti-Abortion Violence Face a Post-Roe WorldBreaking News
tags: far right, violence, abortion, Ted Cruz, Prolife
If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade in the coming weeks, it will mark the culmination of a decades-long, multimillion-dollar legal effort by the American conservative movement to end abortion rights and force many pregnant people to give birth.
It will also be the culmination of a multi-decade terror campaign.
From 1977 to 2020 in America, anti-abortion activists committed at least 11 murders, 26 attempted murders, 956 threats of harm or death, 624 stalking incidents and four kidnappings, according to data collected by the National Abortion Federation. They have bombed 42 abortion clinics, set 194 on fire, attempted to bomb or burn an additional 104 and made 667 bomb threats.
To be an abortion provider in the U.S. has meant going to work every morning under the threat of violence. And as Roe stands on the brink, some family members of people lost to this horrific violence are reliving their worst days. A recent leaked draft suggests that in all likelihood the abortion care their loved ones died practicing will soon disappear across much of the country.
Republicans and the wider anti-abortion movement have often condemned this terror but other times have signaled their tacit, or even explicit, support for it. According to David Cohen, author of “Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism,” the GOP has worked in “conjunction” with extreme anti-abortion activists for decades. “They can let the extremists engage in violence, harassment and threats to accomplish the same goal that the mainstream movement tries to accomplish through legislation and other policy changes,” Cohen said.
The GOP has sometimes flaunted its ties to its militant anti-abortion brethren, like when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) formed a “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition as part of his presidential campaign in 2016 and named Troy Newman as a national co-chair.
Newman is the president of a radical anti-abortion group and the author of “Their Blood Cries Out,” a book that crafts a Christian justification for killing abortion providers. The book compared one specific abortion provider, Dr. George Tiller, to Adolf Hitler. Tiller was gunned down in 2009 by a man who owned a copy of “Their Blood Cries Out” and who had the phone number of Newman’s organization, Operation Rescue, on a Post-it note in his car. (Confronted with Newman’s history of extremism, Cruz doubled down on his involvement in the campaign.)