Providing abortions can be a dangerous job. Abortion doctors aren't like other doctors, in the sense that other doctors don't usually deal with protesters, receive death threats, or survive murder attempts. Abortion providers risk their lives, and prior events have shown us that this risk is very real.
The first abortion provider assassinated in the U.S. was killed today, in 1993. Other murders and murder attempts followed, along with other acts of terrorism such as arson, bombings, and kidnappings, all because these doctors are saving women's lives. Abortion providers are forced to alter their lives in order to protect their own lives, the lives of their families, and the lives of the clinic staff. Simple activities that you and I take for granted, like looking outside of a window, can prove to be dangerous for our providers, as Dr. Warren Hern of Boulder Colorado expresses in this excerpt of the article called "Free Speech That Threatens My Life"
The news of James Kopp’s arrest in France for the 1998 murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian reached me just as I finished performing an abortion for the last patient of the morning. My relief was tempered by the news of the previous day: A judgment against anti-abortion fanatics who want me and other doctors killed had been overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in California.
The previous afternoon, as I sat by a window in my office talking with a reporter about the appellate court decision, I noticed that the Venetian blinds were slightly open. Without interrupting the conversation or thinking about it, I reached over to close the blinds. That has become my response when I find myself by an open window. I move away, draw the curtains or close the blinds.
It’s too dangerous for me to be in front of a window. Five shots were fired through the waiting room windows of my office in 1988. But I learned the need to be cautious most intensely in October 1998 as I watched in horror the reports of Dr. Slepian’s assassination in the kitchen of his home in western New York.
Whoever shot Dr. Slepian accomplished his purpose – to strike terror into my heart. It was an act of political terrorism, as have been the assassinations and attempted assassinations of 10 other abortion doctors and several similar attacks, also sometimes fatal, on others who helped abortion doctors or were with them.
It is unusual now for me to lift the coverings of windows in my home so I can see out. I have a nice view from my home of the famous Flatirons mountains that rise above Boulder, but it is a luxury now to enjoy that view.
As my life is now, the windows cannot be uncovered at night. Sometimes I look into the homes of my neighbors and see them moving about and relaxing with their families. My office is a fortress of steel fences and bulletproof windows, and my home has become a hiding place from which I emerge and hope that I will not be the next assassin’s target.
At the very least, we owe our providers a simple "thank you", don't you think?
I propose that we make every day a day to appreciate our abortion providers. When you meet an abortion provider, say thank you for all of the work that they do. You can send them flowers, call the clinic to show your appreciation, or, if possible, donate money. These are all very small sacrifices compared to what they sacrifice for the right to liberty. If you haven't already, you can show your appreciation for abortion providers here.
Without abortion providers, the legality of abortion is meaningless. Thank you, abortion providers, for making liberty possible!