Grace Carr, DCNF
America is seeing an increase in pro-life advocacy and protests outside of abortion clinics, according to a recent survey of 2017 demonstrations.
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) reports an increase in pro-life protests and advocacy outside of abortion clinics across the country, according to The Associated Press. The NAF also reports an overall decrease in vandalism of abortion clinics and billboards, but a surge in trespassing.
The report shows that trespassing bubble zones — a zone, usually 50 feet, around abortion centers that protesters cannot breach — almost tripled from 2016 to 2017, with reports of 247 trespassing cases in 2016 and 823 cases in 2017. Reports of obstruction against women seeking abortions also tripled according to the NAF, which marks 1,704 obstruction cases in 2017.
“The protesters are feeling emboldened by the political environment and seeing what they could get away with,” NAF president Vicki Saporta asserts, according to The Associated Press. “They want to make it more difficult to provide care, without going to very extreme forms of violence.”
Abortion clinics have “never seen this level of intensity” from pro-lifers picketing outside their walls, Feminist Majority Foundation executive director Kathy Spillar also said.
The NAF based its report on monthly files submitted by its own members, which include the majority of remaining abortion clinics operating within the U.S.
Authorities arrested 10 protesters outside a EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Kentucky in May 2017. A number of other pro-lifers and religious sisters have been arrested and charged with disturbing the peace or violating bubble zones while advocating for life outside of abortion clinics across the country.
“Our justice system is committing another grave injustice by arresting the wrong people,” Operation Save America’s national director Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas said, the AP reports.
Pro-lifers increase in visible and vocal advocacy comes amid a number of measures signed into law or pending approval across the nation. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a measure into a law banning all abortions after fetal heartbeat is detected Friday. A heartbeat typically manifests at around six weeks in pregnancy. The law will take effect July 1.
South Carolina nearly passed a law banning all abortions except those performed in the case of rape, incest and to save the mother’s life, but the bill died in the state’s senate.
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