Boycotts and harassment tactics have an impact, even if it’s not the impact the anti-choicers would like. When businesses submit to antiabortion browbeating, it forces clinicians to scramble to find new suppliers, diverts attention from the provision of care, and exacerbates tensions and anxieties.
Anti-choice extremists are at it again. Not to be outdone by Catholic bishops, Flip Benham’s Operation Save America has teamed up with Go Stand Speak, LifeLink, Jeremiah Cry Ministries, Personhood USA, and Repent America to make five states abortion “refuges.”
It’s a tried-and-true tactic: Any time anti-abortion activists are told that they can’t harass people, they scream that their First Amendment rights have been violated. Now, Rev. Mark Holick, OSA head Flip Benham, and longtime co-conspirators Chet Gallagher and Rusty Thomas are at it again, this time in Jackson, Wyoming.
Clinic escorts around the country say that antiabortion protesters are allowed great freedom, including physically touching, threatening, and lying to patients. It is imperative that protections for clinicians, patients, and health center property are expanded.
People who are regularly subjected to harassment-–most, but not all of them female–report increased stress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.