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The Associated Press warned Wednesday about the fear and “heightened alert” abortion providers are feeling as they “brace” for the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade. This comes as the FBI is investigating attacks on pregnancy centers as potential acts of domestic violent extremism.
The publication spotlighted Amanda Kifferly, a vice president for an abortion clinic in Philadelphia, who described ongoing protests, threats and attacks against abortion facilities – including a peaceful gathering that was painted with an ugly racial tinge.
“And on the night of last winter’s arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case that could end the nationwide right to abortion, people gathered outside a clinic in New Jersey with lawn chairs, a cooler and a flaming torch — a sight that brought to mind lynchings and other horrors of the country’s racist past, says Kifferly,” the article read.
Kifferly and other providers cited in the piece argued that the upcoming Dobbs decision which, according to a draft opinion leak, could overturn Roe v. Wade, inspired more harassment.
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“Now providers and some in law enforcement worry what will come next. They’re preparing for an increase in violence once the Supreme Court rules, saying there has historically been a spike when the issue of abortion gets widespread public attention, such as after a state approves new restrictions. If the decision ends Roe v. Wade — as a leaked draft opinion indicates may happen — they also anticipate protests, harassment and other violence to be more concentrated and intensify in states where abortion remains legal,” the piece continued.
Although the abortion providers described being on a “heightened alert” and ongoing drills to prepare for chaotic situations, they were hesitant to involve a larger police presence.
“But the relationship between clinics and local police isn’t always a positive one, and clinics must weigh whether having a heavy police presence will frighten patients,” AP reported.
While the Associated Press did not ignore the recent spate of attacks against pregnancy centers, they weren’t referred to until the twelfth paragraph where the article noted that the FBI described them as “historically ‘rare.’” The report neglected to reference the bureau’s current investigation into the attacks.
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The news organization also appeared to downplay the recent assassination attempt against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by warning about violence from “people on either side.”
“Shortly after the draft opinion became public, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis said the draft had made extremist violence — by people on either side of the issue — more likely,” the piece said.
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CNN similarly promoted a “both sides” warning the morning following the assassination attempt against Kavanaugh on June 8. The CNN reporter initially questioned whether the suspect possessed a weapon at the time and reiterated that “people are angry” on both sides over the upcoming Supreme Court decision.