Now that Operation Save America’s clinic siege is over, we have all had time to reflect on the week. Although OSA brought a hefty crowd to Charlotte in 2010, their numbers seemed a lot smaller this time around. On their biggest days, they might have had around 40 people (including children) outside of the clinic. Although it is still a lot of people to be harassing patients and staff, it doesn’t compare to the hundred people they had come out in 2010. Some days they didn’t show up at all, since they had items on their agenda, like hosting a press conference in downtown Charlotte about their upcoming protest of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
Operation Save America’s numbers may have been smaller than we’ve seen them before, but that didn’t stop them from using extreme intimidation tactics like going door to door in doctor’s neighborhoods with wanted-style posters. They also targeted the Charlotte Presbyterian Hospital where one of the Charlotte area providers works.
Whether the anti-choice extremists showed up to the clinic in dozens or did not show up at all, pro-choice clinic defenders were there every morning to make sure that they could provide support to those entering the clinic. On the big days, we had 30-40 pro-choice clinic defenders outside of the clinic, physically lining the driveway to block the protestors who stood there, yelling at people as they entered. We made Operation Save America look small by comparison, which should not be surprising considering the majority of Americans are pro-choice.
I really appreciated all of the support from Charlotte community and beyond who were outside every morning, ready to help in any way they could.
This July may have felt like a victory for Charlotte pro-choice activists, but we should not underestimate Operation Save America’s numbers and harassment tactics during the DNC. We will need as many clinic defenders possible September 1-8 to be on call and at the clinics in Charlotte. We know that, because of the political nature of the event, abortion clinics could be targeted hard that week, especially considering the time, energy, and emphasis that OSA is putting into organizing for that week. Please spread the word about this to your friends and colleagues, especially those who are attending the DNC or who live in the area.
As reproductive rights and abortion access are attacked around the country, it is so important to stay informed and get involved. This is a unique time to show the country that we will not stand for the harassment and intimidation of patients, abortion providers, and clinic staff. Check out our Adopt-a-Clinic campaign today to start defending access and reproductive rights in your community!