In the 28 years since Roe v. Wade legal in the United States, the right of women to secure a safe abortion has been under almost constant assault. In court after court, community after community, state after state, anti-abortion forces have fought long, bitter, too-often violent battles to shut down access to safe, legal abortions.
The tally of anti-abortion terrorism is chilling. Seven murders. Seventeen attempted murders. Forty bombings. One hundred and sixty-three cases of arson. One hundred fifteen cases of assault and battery. More than four hundred cases of stalking. More than five hundred bomb threats. More than thirty-three thousand arrests at abortion clinics. And in state legislatures around the country, new laws that erode access to abortions for more and more women.
What has the anti-abortion movement wrought? How have its actions — legal or illegal, publicized or little known — affected the lives of abortion providers and the women they care for? What impact has the movement had — and is likely to have — on the right of women to have safe, legal abortions? What can those who support that right do to protect it?
This remarkable book tells the full story, for the first time, of the generation-long fight against abortion. Drawing deeply on her experiences as an abortion provider and target of harrassment and violence, Patricia Baird-Windle gives a powerful insider account of life on the front lines. Beginning before Roe v. Wade, Baird-Windle and jounralist Eleanor Bader track every significant anti-abortion action — from blockades and picket lines to break-ins and personal harrassment. They offer the voices of 190 providers in the United States and Canada, the clinic owners, doctors, nurses, technicians, and their familiies who tell what it means to work in a field where violence and the threat of violence are routine.
Targets of Hatred never loses sight of the legal assault on abortion — the threats to access from state laws designed to limit the choices of poor women and teenagers. The result of this ongoing legislative war against abortion is dramatic: only 16 percent of U.S. counties provide abortion services, and one-third are without reproduction services of any kind.