The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), the National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Women’s Law Project filed an amicus brief in the June Medical Services v. Gee case that will be heard March 4, 2020 by the Supreme Court, opposing Louisiana’s law that requires doctors who provide abortion care to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The brief details how anti-abortion extremist violence, threats, and harassment adversely impact hospital decisions on granting admitting privileges.
“If the admitting privileges law is upheld, women in Louisiana could be left without a single abortion provider,” explained Katherine Spillar, executive director of Feminist Majority Foundation, who for 32 years has overseen the organization’s work with abortion providers across the country to counter extremist violence. “Due to the fear of anti-abortion violence and harassment, hospitals can and do deny hospital admitting privileges to abortion providers,” continued Spillar. “Nearly 1 in 4 abortion providers experienced severe violence and threats of violence in 2018, and 52% experienced targeted intimidation and threats against doctors and staff, according to our nationwide survey of U.S. abortion clinics.”
“This is not an abstract concept,” Spillar concluded. “I have seen first hand how anti-abortion extremists isolate and stalk doctors and clinic staff, plaster their faces, names and home addresses on WANTED posters, publish ‘justifiable homicide’ lists – all with the goal of creating a climate of terror. And these same extremists have targeted hospitals, with the result being the denial or revocation of admitting privileges for abortion providers.”
“The National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation has a long history defending abortion rights before the Supreme Court. NOW seeks to end violent acts against reproductive health providers and clinics including murder, arson, bombing and stalking,” said NOW Foundation President Toni Van Pelt. “This amicus brief clearly documents how the national climate of violence and fear facing abortion health care providers has a chilling effect that undermines women’s constitutional right to abortion care. We will not let the violent forces of extremism shred Roe v. Wade state by state, clinic by shuttered clinic. Women’s lives depend on our success.”