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Preparing for Violence at Reproductive Health Organizations: A Multi-Agency Approach

NCJ Number
Crime and Justice International Volume: 21 Issue: 85 Dated: March/April 2005 Pages: 18-22
Brian Parsi Boetig
Date Published
March 2005
5 pages
To better understand the motives and objectives of extremists, as well as the government’s response, this article presents a comprehensive overview of the evolution of anti-abortion violence in the United States and the need for a multiagency approach.
Past and present trends in vandalism and violence directed at reproductive health organizations in the United States, of which abortion clinics are frequently associated with, clearly establishes the need to form a collective partnership among public safety officials, research centers, clinics, national associations, and others who may be victimized. This collective partnership would help in mitigating the effects of these criminal acts. This article provides a concise overview of the evolution of anti-abortion violence in America so that the motives and objectives of the extremists and the government’s response can be understood. The article begins with a historical overview of activism versus extremism followed by an overview of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994. The scope of the threat goes beyond abortion clinics with potential targets increasing to include churches, medical service companies, and centers conducting embryonic stem cell research. The general objective of the anti-abortion movement is to prevent abortions from being performed. In addition to acts of vandalism, there have been acts of violence, such as assault and murder. Collective efforts by agencies, businesses, and individuals who may become potential victims, prior to an actual emergency situation can reduce the possibility of a criminal event occurring and facilitate an organized and effective response to criminal acts when they occur. 34 Notes


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