Anti-abortion violence is violence commit-
ted against individuals and organizations that
Incidents of violence
have ranged from the destruction of prop-
erty, in the form of vandalism, arson, and
bombings, to crimes against people, includ-
ing kidnapping, stalking, assault, attempted
murder, and murder.
Anti-abortion violence is most frequently
committed in the United States, though it has
also occurred in Australia and Canada. G.
Davidson Smith of Canadian Security Intelli-
gence Service defined anti-abortion violence
as "single issue terrorism".
Anti-abortion violence is aggression spe-
cifically visited upon people who or places
which provide abortion. Such incidents range
from the vandalism, arson, and bombings of
abortion clinics, as committed by Eric
the murders or attempted
murders of physicians and clinic staff, as
committed by James Kopp and Peter James
A small fraction of those opposed to abor-
tion have sometimes resorted to very public
demonstrations of violence in an effort to
achieve their objective of curbing the termin-
ation of pregnancy. Those who engage in or
support such actions defend the use of force
— as justifiable homicide or defense of others
— in interest of protecting the life of the
Incidents in the United States
In the U.S., violence directed toward abortion
providers has killed at least 7 people, includ-
ing 3 doctors, 2 clinic employees, a security
guard, and a clinic escort.
• Dr. David Gunn of Pensacola, Florida was
fatally shot during a protest. He had been
the subject of wanted-style posters
distributed by Operation Rescue in the
summer of the year before. Michael F.
Griffin was found guilty of Dr. Gunn’s
murder and was sentenced to life in
• Dr. John Britton and James Barrett, a
clinic escort, were both shot to death
outside of another facility in Pensacola.
Rev. Paul Jennings Hill was charged with
the killings, received a death sentence,