Jun 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Abortion rights groups denounce threats of violence ahead of Roe decision

Picture of the Supreme Court building with a sign that says "my body, my choice" in front of it

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Three major abortion rights groups on Friday released a statement saying they reject any and all threats of violence as the Supreme Court readies to release a decision on a case that could potentially overturn Roe v. Wade.

Driving the news: "We reject the tactics and threats of groups that use destruction and violence as a means to an end. They do not speak for us, our supporters, our communities, or our movement," Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Liberate Abortion Campaign said.

  • "We are committed to protecting and expanding access to abortion and reproductive freedoms through peaceful, non-violent organizing and activism."
  • "People deserve to both provide and access abortion care in a safe and supportive environment," the groups added.

The big picture: The federal government is preparing for a potential surge in political violence once the Supreme Court hands down the ruling that could potentially overturn Roe v. Wade, Axios' Sophia Cai and Stef Kight report.

  • Law enforcement agencies are investigating social-media threats to burn down or storm the Supreme Court building and murder justices and their clerks, as well as attacks targeting places of worship and abortion clinics.
  • More than two dozen Catholic organizations, anti-abortion centers and other conservative groups recently demanded the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute recent attacks on churches and anti-abortion pregnancy centers in the wake of the draft leak.

State of play: The abortion rights groups also pointed out that abortion providers and patients "have long faced daily threats and violence" from anti-abortion activists.

  • New data from the National Abortion Federation found that incidents of assault and battery against providers and patients increased 128% last year compared to 2020.
  • NAF experts said that they anticipate violence to increase following the Supreme Court's opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which is evaluating the constitutionality Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban.

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