Abortion providers and their relatives routinely face intimidation and threats of violence, Professor David S. Cohen and alumna Krysten Connon, ’12, said during an interview on MSNBC on May 9.
“This is an ongoing problem for abortion providers across the country, in red states, in blue states alike,” said Cohen, the co-author of “Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism.”
The book, published in May 2015 by Oxford University Press, is based on interviews Cohen and Connon conducted with nearly 90 abortion providers and clinic volunteers in 35 states.
Tactics like stalking abortion providers to and from work, picketing outside their homes, issuing death threats and even following clinic workers’ children to school aim to instill fear and thereby fit the definition of terrorism, Cohen told Melissa Harris-Perry.
“Extremists want the complete abolition of abortion,” Cohen said. “They have failed at that. Public opinion has not moved with them. They use extralegal means to accomplish what they can’t in the political arena.”
Labeling the problem as terrorism may spur the law enforcement community to do more to protect abortion providers, Connon said, adding that raising public awareness of their plight is an important first step.