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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Communities with Anti-Abortion Clinics See More Violence on Abortion Clinics

Here's an unpleasant correlation: reproductive health clinics in communities with "crisis pregnancy centers," anti-abortion clinics often run by Christians supposedly bound by Scripture to non-violence, are more likely to experience violence:

Just the presence of a CPC in the vicinity of an abortion clinic ups the potential for violence. A recent survey by the Feminist Majority Foundation of women’s reproductive-health clinics nationwide found 32.7 percent of clinics located near a CPC experienced one or more incidents of severe violence, compared to only 11.3 percent of clinics not near a CPC. (Severe violence includes clinic blockades and invasions, bombings, arson, bombing and arson threats, death threats, chemical attacks, stalking, physical violence and gunfire.) [Kathryn Joyce, "Right-Wing Christian Pregnancy Centers Linked to Violence," Ms. Magazine via Alternet, 2010.11.11]

If there are enough passionate Christians in a community to start a crisis pregnancy center, I would like to think there would be enough passionate Christians to strengthen the community's resistance to violence against fellow citizens. Alas, too many Christians appear willing to use un-Christian tactics to achieve their political goals.


  1. As someone who helped START a crisis pregnancy center, I want to say that finding people who care to work on a project like that is difficult. I was the chair of the steering committee for Elizabeth's House in Brookings.

    I was younger and more naive then, but I realized then that it was difficult to find people truly empathetic with young women and who wanted to help and who didn't also have a staunch, political chip on their shoulder.

    It's difficult. If I had it to do all over again, I would've fought harder to make it a larger pregnancy resource center type of facility not just focused on crisis pregnancy. I have some hope in doing something like that with like-minded individuals where we're moving to. I'm receiving training as a doula in childbirth education...and I wish I would have that before.

    But God works in mysterious ways. And for every honest, politically active pro-lifer who isn't hateful--they seem to think everyone is like them. I will pass this on to those pro-life Christians I know involved in the center, so that they can be aware of this statistic...so it DOESN'T happen.

  2. Thanks for that perspective, Tasi. I don't want to paint with a broad brush. There are conscientious and not-so-conscientious people on both sides. But these stats indicate there is some factor in those CPC communities that we must try to identify and mitigate. The action you recommend—talking to your fellow pro-life Christians, making them aware of this tendency—is a great way to start conversations and encourage people to watch for and try to prevent such violence... even as they try to very difficult, emotional, and important work.


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