Conflicting Studies Touch on Pro-Life, Abortion-Related Violence

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 28, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Conflicting Studies Touch on Pro-Life, Abortion-Related Violence Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 28
, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Conflicting studies put out by pro-abortion advocates and abortion activists say each side is more responsible for acts of abortion-related violence targeted at the other. The differences are in large part due the different ways each side defines an act of violence.

A new report written by Human Life International senior analyst Brian Clowes suggests abortion advocates are responsible for more acts of violence. He says abortion advocates say pro-life people are responsible for seven murders but he says the other side is responsible for hundreds.

"Seven murders are carried out by so called pro-life people in the time period 1993 to 1998 and yet we’ve documented over 500 murders done by people who are pro-choice," Clowes explained.

Clowes says acts of violence include murders by abortion practitioners and abortion advocates, men who killed their pregnant wives and girlfriends, and other individuals who have killed women specifically because they were pregnant or wanted them to have abortions.

"For every single instance of so-called ‘pro-life extreme violence’ — which is murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and arson — we have 80 instances of pro-choice extreme violence," Clowes explained.

On the other side, William Pridemore, associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Indiana University Bloomington, release a new report saying state legislation designed to protect abortion facilities has done little to curb violence by so-called pro-life people.

Co-authored by Joshua Freilich of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, their report has been accepted for publication in the journal Law and Human Behavior.

When laws were passed by Congress and the states such as bubble zones or anti-free speech measures, some said they would reduce violence while others say it would provoke more violent reactions. Neither appeared to be true.

"We tested these competing hypotheses and found no support for either one," Pridemore said.

"In other words, states with laws protecting abortion clinics and reproductive rights are no more or less likely than other states to have higher or lower levels of victimization against abortion clinics, staff or patients," he added.

The professors relied on surveys of abortion businesses to collect their data.

Statistical analysis of survey forms returned by 361 abortion clinics in 48 states revealed that 7 percent and 9 percent of the clinics (or their medical or support staff) were the targets of major or minor violence, respectively, and that 7 percent had major vandalism, 27 percent had minor vandalism and 44 percent experienced harassment.

With such low percentages of abortion businesses saying they have been targeted with acts of violence, Clowes said he’s upset at how the media portrays the pro-life community as the only violent side.

"I’d like to try to balance this out, showing that the abortion culture is really violent in all of its aspects," he says.

Related web sites:
HLI abortion-violence report –