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Anti-Abortion Violence Movement Increases

NCJ Number
CJ The Americas Volume: 8 Issue: 6 Dated: (December-January 1996) Pages: 3,6,8,10
J Builta
Date Published
4 pages
This assessment of the anti-abortion-violence movement focuses on the organization and activities of those in the anti- abortion movement who espouse violence or display the threat of violence in their philosophical or operational standards.
Violent protest methods (arson, fire-bombings, and vandalism) begin in the early 1970's. In the beginning, these violent acts were random and unorganized. Over the past few years, however, there has been increasing evidence that the violent extremist cells of the movement are meeting with one another, undergoing paramilitary training, organizing, and planning. Controversy remains about whether actual acts of violence are part of this planning or are random acts planned and committed by lone radicals. This article documents the escalation of violence at abortion clinics in Pensacola, Fla., which has included bombings, vandalism, and the murders of three abortion- clinic personnel. There is evidence that many of the militant anti-abortion groups have affiliations with the Ku Klux Klan, various militias, and militant anti-taxation groups. One of these groups, the United States Taxpayers Party, is preparing a training facility to teach "militant" and "unmerciful" techniques. Two of its leaders, Jeffrey Baker and Howard Phillips, have publicly advocated the killing of abortion providers. Although the number of violent extremists is small, their impact has been disproportionately large. The Federal Government has taken a tough stance on the issue by using RICO and FACE legislation against those who violate the constitutional rights of those who work in abortion clinics. It is likely the violence will increase on both sides, however, as the argument is polarized.