Planned Parenthood has long been a source of political contention in the United States, and has lately been the subject to misguided speculation about wrongdoing and budgets cuts from the government. Worse, 12 people were recently injured or killed at a clinic in Colorado Springs by a man who disagreed with their cause. The tragedy is just one in a long wave of constant, everyday violences seen by Planned Parenthood clinics around the nation. This week, former Planned Parenthood employee Brynn Greenwood shared her experiences working at the clinic, highlighting some of the acts of domestic terror she witnessed.
Greenwood’s tweets give us a more realistic picture of what happens outside a Planned Parenthood clinic. Many people believe that though public sentiment is often against the healthcare provider, people are more bark than bite when it comes to enacting violence against them. But that isn’t correct. “Butyric acid (used as a stink bomb) was poured under our doors & into ventilation system so many times I lost count,” she says of the Kansas clinic she worked in.
The crimes Greenwood details are things that happened at her clinic nearly every day. Gasoline was poured under the back door and lit four times; on three occasions, someone drove by at night and shot out the building’s windows.
That particular clinic did not offer abortions. They did perform well-woman exams, pregnancy tests, dispense birth control, and treat STIs, for free or for low-cost. When asked why her clinic was targeted if it didn’t perform abortions, Greenwood tweeted, “Because we were a safe space for women & LGBTQA people.”
The suspected Planned Parenthood shooter, Robert Dear, faces charges of murder in the first-degree. Currently, he is being held in jail without bond. If he is convicted of the crimes, he could face life in prison or the death penalty.
There have been at least 73 attacks on U.S. abortion providers since 1997.