Pingree Backs Bill to Protect Reproductive Providers and Patients from Anti-Abortion Extremists
Maine’s 1st District Congresswoman Cosponsors Legislation to Ensure Security of Health Facilities Providing Abortion Care
Washington, June 14, 2022
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today signed on to the Healthcare Providers Safety Act to protect patients and abortion care providers who have faced heightened harassment and violence by anti-abortion extremists emboldened by the Supreme Court’s pending challenge to Roe v. Wade.
“Patients and providers entering reproductive health care centers should have the same level of security and safety Justice Kavanaugh has going to work,” said Pingree. “But we know they do not – death threats against abortion providers have more than doubled while assaults rose 125% in the span of one year. As Congress considers granting the Supreme Court added security, it is only fair that we also stand up for the safety of regular Americans who face threats of violent obstruction and intimidation from anti-abortion extremists every day.”
The National Abortion Federation’s report on violence and disruption against abortion clinics found that in 2020, reports of assault and battery increased by 125% compared to 2019. Additionally, death threats against abortion providers more than doubled. In 2019, clinics reported two suspicious packages, while in 2020 they reported a whopping 27. Reports of arson, attempted bombing, vandalism, stalking, hate mail, and harassing calls, as well as internet harassment, also rose.
The FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division and Counterterrorism Division predicted in a 2020 report that “in the midst of a rise in legislative changes to reproductive healthcare services in several states, and reported increases in obstruction, intimidation, and threats of violence in the last year, the FBI anticipates violent threats and Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act violations likely will remain elevated through the next 12 to 24 months in the midst of continuous debates during the 2020 election cycle.”
The Senate unanimously passed S.4160, the Supreme Court Police Parity Act of 2022 which would entitle Supreme Court Justices, their families, and employees to security-related authorities equivalent to legislative and executive branches. The House is set to pass the Supreme Court Police Parity Act today and send the legislation to President Biden for his signature.