Antiabortion Movement

In the years following Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that brought before the Supreme Court the issue of legalizing abortion, antiabortion terrorism has stalked abortion providers throughout the United States. The FBI considers militant antiabortionists, like radical animal rights and environmentalist groups, to be “special interest” or “single issue” terrorists, whose adherents use violence to achieve one end—abolishing legal abortion.

Antiabortion direct action in the United States dates to 1975, when six women were arrested for the first clinic sit-in, in Rockville, Maryland. Although violent incidents were relatively rare in the mid-1970s, the level of violence rose quickly. In February 1977, an activist entered the Concern Women's Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, and set fire to its interior after throwing flammable liquid in the receptionist's face. Two years later, Peter Burkin, then 21 years old, stormed into a Hempstead, New York, clinic with a two-foot flaming ...

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