Roundup: Pro-Choice GOPer, Hagee on Katrina, V-Day

Brady Swenson

NJ has a pro-choice GOP candidate, McCain distances himself from Hagee and new thoughts on HIV prevention.

Pro-choice Republican To add to Dana Goldstein’s overview of reproductive right’s views among candidates running for a Senate seat this fall, it appears there’s a pro-choice Republican running for Senate in New Jersey. Dick Zimmer supports abortion rights, subject to "reasonable" restrictions. "Government should play a minimal part in
people’s private lives," Zimmer said. "As a
general rule, the government should not interfere in a
decision that should be made by a woman and her doctor
and her spiritual adviser and her family." Zimmer’s two primary opponents are adamantly anti-choice. Hmmm… Ron Paul’s minimalist government tendancies in all other policy areas has never kept him from advocating for government intrustion to the greatest extent when it comes to women’s bodies.

Anti-sex Blog The Abstinence Clearinghouse has started a blog. Check out Amanda’s review over at Pandagon.

Hagee: New Orleaners’ Sin = Katrina While Barack Obama was being pummeled for remarks his pastor was making, John McCain has skated by the media smiling while Pastor John Hagee, whose endorsement McCain sought, stated that New Orleans’ sinful, homosexual-loving ways brought about the deserved punishment from God that was Hurricane Katrina. Yesterday McCain finally started feeling the deserved heat for John Hagee’s radical views.

Reassesing HIV Prevention Science Centric reports on a study released in today’s edition of the journal Science (subscription required): "According to a new policy analysis led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of California, Berkeley, the most common HIV prevention strategies – condom promotion, HIV testing, treatment of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), vaccine and microbicide research, and abstinence – are having a limited impact on the predominantly heterosexual epidemics found in Africa. Furthermore, some of the assumptions underlying such strategies – such as poverty or war being major causes of AIDS in Africa – are unsupported by rigourous scientific evidence. The researchers argue that two interventions currently getting less attention and resources – male circumcision and reducing multiple sexual partnerships – would have a greater impact on the AIDS pandemic and should become the cornerstone of HIV prevention efforts in the high-HIV-prevalence parts of Africa."

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V-Day for Mother’s Day Joan Lipkin writes a great post today on about her alternative celebration of Mother’s Day this year. She went to New Orleans to participate in V-Day, one of the largest international gatherings about violence against women.

Analysis Abortion

‘Pro-Life’ Pence Transfers Money Intended for Vulnerable Households to Anti-Choice Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Jenn Stanley

Donald Trump's running mate has said that "life is winning in Indiana"—and the biggest winner is probably a chain of crisis pregnancy centers that landed a $3.5 million contract in funds originally intended for poor Hoosiers.

Much has been made of Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s record on LGBTQ issues. In 2000, when he was running for U.S. representative, Pence wrote that “Congress should oppose any effort to recognize homosexual’s [sic] as a ‘discreet and insular minority’ [sic] entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws similar to those extended to women and ethnic minorities.” He also said that funds meant to help people living with HIV or AIDS should no longer be given to organizations that provide HIV prevention services because they “celebrate and encourage” homosexual activity. Instead, he proposed redirecting those funds to anti-LGBTQ “conversion therapy” programs, which have been widely discredited by the medical community as being ineffective and dangerous.

Under Pence, ideology has replaced evidence in many areas of public life. In fact, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has just hired a running mate who, in the past year, has reallocated millions of dollars in public funds intended to provide food and health care for needy families to anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers.

Gov. Pence, who declined multiple requests for an interview with Rewire, has been outspoken about his anti-choice agenda. Currently, Indiana law requires people seeking abortions to receive in-person “counseling” and written information from a physician or other health-care provider 18 hours before the abortion begins. And thanks, in part, to other restrictive laws making it more difficult for clinics to operate, there are currently six abortion providers in Indiana, and none in the northern part of the state. Only four of Indiana’s 92 counties have an abortion provider. All this means that many people in need of abortion care are forced to take significant time off work, arrange child care, and possibly pay for a place to stay overnight in order to obtain it.

This environment is why a contract quietly signed by Pence last fall with the crisis pregnancy center umbrella organization Real Alternatives is so potentially dangerous for Indiana residents seeking abortion: State-subsidized crisis pregnancy centers not only don’t provide abortion but seek to persuade people out of seeking abortion, thus limiting their options.

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“Indiana is committed to the health, safety, and wellbeing [sic] of Hoosier families, women, and children,” reads the first line of the contract between the Indiana State Department of Health and Real Alternatives. The contract, which began on October 1, 2015, allocates $3.5 million over the course of a year for Real Alternatives to use to fund crisis pregnancy centers throughout the state.

Where Funding Comes From

The money for the Real Alternatives contract comes from Indiana’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, a federally funded, state-run program meant to support the most vulnerable households with children. The program was created by the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act signed by former President Bill Clinton. It changed welfare from a federal program that gave money directly to needy families to one that gave money, and a lot of flexibility with how to use it, to the states.

This TANF block grant is supposed to provide low-income families a monthly cash stipend that can be used for rent, child care, and food. But states have wide discretion over these funds: In general, they must use the money to serve families with children, but they can also fund programs meant, for example, to promote marriage. They can also make changes to the requirements for fund eligibility.

As of 2012, to be eligible for cash assistance in Indiana, a household’s maximum monthly earnings could not exceed $377, the fourth-lowest level of qualification of all 50 states, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service. Indiana’s program also has some of the lowest maximum payouts to recipients in the country.

Part of this is due to a 2011 work requirement that stripped eligibility from many families. Under the new work requirement, a parent or caretaker receiving assistance needs to be “engaged in work once the State determines the parent or caretaker is ready to engage in work,” or after 24 months of receiving benefits. The maximum time allowed federally for a family to receive assistance is 60 months.

“There was a TANF policy change effective November 2011 that required an up-front job search to be completed at the point of application before we would proceed in authorizing TANF benefits,” Jim Gavin, a spokesman for the state’s Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), told Rewire. “Most [applicants] did not complete the required job search and thus applications were denied.”

Unspent money from the block grant can be carried over to following years. Indiana receives an annual block grant of $206,799,109, but the state hasn’t been using all of it thanks to those low payouts and strict eligibility requirements. The budget for the Real Alternatives contract comes from these carry-over funds.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, TANF is explicitly meant to clothe and feed children, or to create programs that help prevent “non-marital childbearing,” and Indiana’s contract with Real Alternatives does neither. The contract stipulates that Real Alternatives and its subcontractors must “actively promote childbirth instead of abortion.” The funds, the contract says, cannot be used for organizations that will refer clients to abortion providers or promote contraceptives as a way to avoid unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

Parties involved in the contract defended it to Rewire by saying they provide material goods to expecting and new parents, but Rewire obtained documents that showed a much different reality.

Real Alternatives is an anti-choice organization run by Kevin Bagatta, a Pennsylvania lawyer who has no known professional experience with medical or mental health services. It helps open, finance, and refer clients to crisis pregnancy centers. The program started in Pennsylvania, where it received a $30 million, five-year grant to support a network of 40 subcontracting crisis pregnancy centers. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale called for an audit of the organization between June 2012 and June 2015 after hearing reports of mismanaged funds, and found $485,000 in inappropriate billing. According to the audit, Real Alternatives would not permit DHS to review how the organization used those funds. However, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported in April that at least some of the money appears to have been designated for programs outside the state.

Real Alternatives also received an $800,000 contract in Michigan, which inspired Gov. Pence to fund a $1 million yearlong pilot program in northern Indiana in the fall of 2014.

“The widespread success [of the pilot program] and large demand for these services led to the statewide expansion of the program,” reads the current $3.5 million contract. It is unclear what measures the state used to define “success.”


“Every Other Baby … Starts With Women’s Care Center”

Real Alternatives has 18 subcontracting centers in Indiana; 15 of them are owned by Women’s Care Center, a chain of crisis pregnancy centers. According to its website, Women’s Care Center serves 25,000 women annually in 23 centers throughout Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Women’s Care Centers in Indiana received 18 percent of their operating budget from state’s Real Alternatives program during the pilot year, October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015, which were mostly reimbursements for counseling and classes throughout pregnancy, rather than goods and services for new parents.

In fact, instead of the dispensation of diapers and food, “the primary purpose of the [Real Alternatives] program is to provide core services consisting of information, sharing education, and counseling that promotes childbirth and assists pregnant women in their decision regarding adoption or parenting,” the most recent contract reads.

The program’s reimbursement system prioritizes these anti-choice classes and counseling sessions: The more they bill for, the more likely they are to get more funding and thus open more clinics.

“This performance driven [sic] reimbursement system rewards vendor service providers who take their program reimbursement and reinvest in their services by opening more centers and hiring more counselors to serve more women in need,” reads the contract.

Classes, which are billed as chastity classes, parenting classes, pregnancy classes, and childbirth classes, are reimbursed at $21.80 per client. Meanwhile, as per the most recent contract, counseling sessions, which are separate from the classes, are reimbursed by the state at minimum rates of $1.09 per minute.

Jenny Hunsberger, vice president of Women’s Care Center, told Rewire that half of all pregnant women in Elkhart, LaPorte, Marshall, and St. Joseph Counties, and one in four pregnant women in Allen County, are clients of their centers. To receive any material goods, such as diapers, food, and clothing, she said, all clients must receive this counseling, at no cost to them. Such counseling is billed by the minute for reimbursement.

“When every other baby born [in those counties] starts with Women’s Care Center, that’s a lot of minutes,” Hunsberger told Rewire.

Rewire was unable to verify exactly what is said in those counseling sessions, except that they are meant to encourage clients to carry their pregnancies to term and to help them decide between adoption or child rearing, according to Hunsberger. As mandated by the contract, both counseling and classes must “provide abstinence education as the best and only method of avoiding unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.”

In the first quarter of the new contract alone, Women’s Care Center billed Real Alternatives and, in turn, the state, $239,290.97; about $150,000 of that was for counseling, according to documents obtained by Rewire. In contrast, goods like food, diapers, and other essentials for new parents made up only about 18.5 percent of Women’s Care Center’s first-quarter reimbursements.

Despite the fact that the state is paying for counseling at Women’s Care Center, Rewire was unable to find any licensing for counselors affiliated with the centers. Hunsberger told Rewire that counseling assistants and counselors complete a minimum training of 200 hours overseen by a master’s level counselor, but the counselors and assistants do not all have social work or psychology degrees. Hunsberger wrote in an email to Rewire that “a typical Women’s Care Center is staffed with one or more highly skilled counselors, MSW or equivalent.”

Rewire followed up for more information regarding what “typical” or “equivalent” meant, but Hunsberger declined to answer. A search for licenses for the known counselors at Women’s Care Center’s Indiana locations turned up nothing. The Indiana State Department of Health told Rewire that it does not monitor or regulate the staff at Real Alternatives’ subcontractors, and both Women’s Care Center and Real Alternatives were uncooperative when asked for more information regarding their counseling staff and training.

Bethany Christian Services and Heartline Pregnancy Center, Real Alternatives’ other Indiana subcontractors, billed the program $380.41 and $404.39 respectively in the first quarter. They billed only for counseling sessions, and not goods or classes.

In a 2011 interview with Philadelphia City Paper, Kevin Bagatta said that Real Alternatives counselors were not required to have a degree.

“We don’t provide medical services. We provide human services,” Bagatta told the City Paper.

There are pregnancy centers in Indiana that provide a full range of referrals for reproductive health care, including for STI testing and abortion. However, they are not eligible for reimbursement under the Real Alternatives contract because they do not maintain an anti-choice mission.

Parker Dockray is the executive director of Backline, an all-options pregnancy resource center. She told Rewire that Backline serves hundreds of Indiana residents each month, and is overwhelmed by demand for diapers and other goods, but it is ineligible for the funding because it will refer women to abortion providers if they choose not to carry a pregnancy to term.

“At a time when so many Hoosier families are struggling to make ends meet, it is irresponsible for the state to divert funds intended to support low-income women and children and give it to organizations that provide biased pregnancy counseling,” Dockray told Rewire. “We wish that Indiana would use this funding to truly support families by providing job training, child care, and other safety net services, rather than using it to promote an anti-abortion agenda.”

“Life Is Winning in Indiana”

Time and again, Bagatta and Hunsberger stressed to Rewire that their organizations do not employ deceitful tactics to get women in the door and to convince them not to have abortions. However, multiple studies have proven that crisis pregnancy centers often lie to women from the moment they search online for an abortion provider through the end of their appointments inside the center.

These studies have also shown that publicly funded crisis pregnancy centers dispense medically inaccurate information to clients. In addition to spreading lies like abortion causing infertility or breast cancer, they are known to give false hopes of miscarriages to people who are pregnant and don’t want to be. A 2015 report by NARAL Pro-Choice America found this practice to be ubiquitous in centers throughout the United States, and Rewire found that Women’s Care Center is no exception. The organization’s website says that as many as 40 percent of pregnancies end in natural miscarriage. While early pregnancy loss is common, it occurs in about 10 percent of known pregnancies, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Crisis pregnancy centers also tend to crop up next to abortion clinics with flashy, deceitful signs that lead many to mistakenly walk into the wrong building. Once inside, clients are encouraged not to have an abortion.

A Google search for “abortion” and “Indianapolis” turns up an ad for the Women’s Care Center as the first result. It reads: “Abortion – Indianapolis – Free Ultrasound before Abortion. Located on 86th and Georgetown. We’re Here to Help – Call Us Today: Abortion, Ultrasound, Locations, Pregnancy.”

Hunsberger denies any deceit on the part of Women’s Care Center.

“Clients who walk in the wrong door are informed that we are not the abortion clinic and that we do not provide abortions,” Hunsberger told Rewire. “Often a woman will choose to stay or return because we provide services that she feels will help her make the best decision for her, including free medical-grade pregnancy tests and ultrasounds which help determine viability and gestational age.”

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky told Rewire that since Women’s Care Center opened on 86th and Georgetown in Indianapolis, many patients looking for its Georgetown Health Center have walked through the “wrong door.”

“We have had patients miss appointments because they went into their building and were kept there so long they missed their scheduled time,” Judi Morrison, vice president of marketing and education, told Rewire.

Sarah Bardol, director of Women’s Care Center’s Indianapolis clinic, told the Criterion Online Edition, a publication of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, that the first day the center was open, a woman and her boyfriend did walk into the “wrong door” hoping to have an abortion.

“The staff of the new Women’s Care Center in Indianapolis, located just yards from the largest abortion provider in the state, hopes for many such ‘wrong-door’ incidents as they seek to help women choose life for their unborn babies,” reported the Criterion Online Edition.

If they submit to counseling, Hoosiers who walk into the “wrong door” and “choose life” can receive up to about $40 in goods over the course their pregnancy and the first year of that child’s life. Perhaps several years ago they may have been eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, but now with the work requirement, they may not qualify.

In a February 2016 interview with National Right to Life, one of the nation’s most prominent anti-choice groups, Gov. Pence said, “Life is winning in Indiana.” Though Pence was referring to the Real Alternatives contract, and the wave of anti-choice legislation sweeping through the state, it’s not clear what “life is winning” actually means. The state’s opioid epidemic claimed 1,172 lives in 2014, a statistically significant increase from the previous year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV infections have spread dramatically throughout the state, in part because of Pence’s unwillingness to support medically sound prevention practices. Indiana’s infant mortality rate is above the national average, and infant mortality among Black babies is even higher. And Pence has reduced access to prevention services such as those offered by Planned Parenthood through budget cuts and unnecessary regulations—while increasing spending on anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers.

Gov. Pence’s track record shows that these policies are no mistake. The medical and financial needs of his most vulnerable constituents have taken a backseat to religious ideology throughout his time in office. He has literally reallocated money for poor Hoosiers to fund anti-choice organizations. In his tenure as both a congressman and a governor, he’s proven that whether on a national or state level, he’s willing to put “pro-life” over quality-of-life for his constituents.

Analysis Violence

Six Months of Fury: Attacks on Planned Parenthood See Sharp Increase After Misinformation Campaign

Kanya D’Almeida

Since the CMP videos came out this summer, numerous Planned Parenthood clinics have been vandalized or subjected to arson, starting with an attack on a health center in the Chicago suburb of Aurora on the morning of July 19.

Read more of our articles on the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting here.

When 500 anti-choice demonstrators gathered outside the small Planned Parenthood health center in Pullman, Washington, on August 22, locals were taken by surprise at the size of the gathering. Until that day, the Pullman clinic, which enjoys widespread community support, had only ever seen the occasional stray protester or two, and even larger Planned Parenthood facilities in the Greater Washington and North Idaho area had never before witnessed a crowd larger than 100 people.

Demonstrators, who waved signs saying “Planned Parenthood Sells Baby Parts,” were responding to a call put out weeks earlier by a coalition of anti-choice organizations urging citizens to take to the streets in a national day of protest against the health-care provider.

The impetus for that call came in July, when the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), an anti-choice front group, began releasing a series of deceptively edited videos purporting to expose Planned Parenthood officials engaging in illicit trafficking of fetal tissue and organs. These videos, and the unethical ways in which the footage was obtained, were quickly discredited, while a federal investigation turned up absolutely zero evidence that the organization broke any laws on fetal tissue donation.

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These facts, however, were not enough to deter anti-choice crusaders from capitalizing on the misinformation to drum up opposition towards the health-care provider. A few miles away from the Pullman clinic, in the city of Moscow, the radical evangelical Christ Church evoked some of CMP’s falsehoods in order to garner support for the August 22 rally.

Less than two weeks later, on September 4, the Pullman clinic was firebombed. The attack happened in the early hours of the morning when arsonists threw a rock through a front window and then lobbed an explosive into the interior of the health center.

“It lit the entire inside of the building on fire very quickly,” Tanya Riordan, vice president of community outreach for Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, told Rewire in a phone interview. “Every single thing inside the center was destroyed or damaged and 100 percent of the inside of the building has had to be replaced and rebuilt.”

Situated in a college community, close to Washington State University, the Pullman clinic is a small operation. It serves about 2,000 patients annually, including many college students who rely on the provider for STI testing, breast and cervical cancer screening, birth control, and pregnancy tests. Financial damage from the arson attack exceeded $500,000, with Planned Parenthood paying $250,000 out of its own pocket.

But the financial burden is only a single piece of a very grim picture. The arson on September 4 was one of many recent violent attacks that culminated last week in the carnage at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, where Robert Lewis Dear Jr.—who, in interviews with investigators, repeated the same anti-choice rhetoric heard in the CMP videos—allegedly gunned down three people and injured nine others in the deadliest anti-choice attack since the murder of Dr. George Tiller in 2009.

Since the CMP videos came out this summer, numerous Planned Parenthood clinics have been vandalized or subjected to arson, starting with an attack on a health center in the Chicago suburb of Aurora on the morning of July 19.

According to Carole Brite, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, the arsonist poured five gallons of gasoline around the front door and lit it on fire, causing an explosion.

“We were very fortunate that the fire did not breach our front door,” Brite told Rewire. “We have security glass in place that really minimized the damage, and we were able to open the next day, Monday, at 8 a.m. like we always do.”

She noted that other threats and acts of vandalism have occurred at clinics throughout Illinois, including “impostors trying to gain access to health centers and administrative offices,” which staff members prevented.

In August, she said, there was an attempt to hack the Planned Parenthood website, a national platform that hosts every single one of the organization’s regional and local websites. While the cyber attack was aborted, it did cause disruption to patient care, Brite said, since many patients now utilize the online appointment scheduling system.

Also in August, firefighters in New Orleans discovered that a car had been set alight at the construction site of a future Planned Parenthood facility, the Guardian reported, adding that police had beefed up security in the area due to an anti-choice protest that took place on that very site a year earlier.

“All summer we saw extremists creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism,” Brite said. “The videos that came out in July were clearly a smear campaign … and people have latched on to it. We fully believe that this rhetoric has led to an increase in violence, and that violence itself is feeding more of the same.”

The Pullman attack happened next, and was followed some weeks later by an act of arson at the Thousand Oaks Planned Parenthood clinic in California, according to a news report in the Los Angeles Times. That facility provides some 7,000 patients annually with a range of services such as cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, and birth control.

October also saw a string of attacks, most notably at the Claremont Health Center in New Hampshire, a state the National Journal has referred to as “ground zero” in the legal and political battle to defund Planned Parenthood.

In the first week of August, New Hampshire joined Alabama and Louisiana as the first states to slash funding for the health-care provider, despite the fact that 66 percent of New Hampshire voters opposed the defunding. In 2014, the state led the nation in terms of public support for safe, legal abortions with a 78 percent support rate (compared to the national average of 57 percent) according to the American Values Atlas.

Christopher Sununu, a Republican, cast the deciding vote on August 5 in the executive council to prevent Planned Parenthood of Northern New England from receiving a $639,000 state contract, just weeks before announcing his 2016 gubernatorial bid.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s New Hampshire Vice President for Public Policy Jennifer Frizzell told Rewire that the blocking of the contract was a shift from past Republican support in a state which, in the spring of 2015, defeated a legislative bill to defund Planned Parenthood with a strong bipartisan caucus.

A few months after the executive council’s decision, in early October, a vandal spray-painted the word “murderer” on the outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Claremont, a city of about 13,000 people in Western New Hampshire, the Associated Press reported.

It prompted the Claremont Police Department to keep a close watch on the clinic, conducting additional drive-bys during patrol hours. Thanks in large part to their heightened vigilance, law enforcement officials were able to catch a vandal in the act of severely damaging the inside of the facility on October 21, Frizzell said.

She said the culprit, a juvenile male, spent several hours in the health center with a hatchet, “systematically going from room to room causing extensive damage.” Before the cops apprehended him, the youth smashed the water and sewer lines, cut computer and data lines, smashed medical equipment, and spray-painted the walls inside the facility, forcing it to shut down. It eventually reopened on November 30.

The tab for repairs has already run into the “high tens of thousands,” Frizzell told Rewire in a phone interview, a price tag that does not even include lost revenue from the six weeks during which the clinic was inoperable, and additional security measures that may need to be implemented to protect it against future attacks. All told, the total cost will “likely exceed six figures,” she added.

These heavy financial costs come at a time when Republican lawmakers are doing their utmost to break the spine of Planned Parenthood, which serves an estimated 2.7 million men and women annually. In this timeline, Rewire traces the progression of anti-choice rhetoric from the CMP video smear campaign, through the Colorado shooting, up to last week’s Senate decision to defund Planned Parenthood, which would essentially strip the provider of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal assistance that goes toward such preventive services as HIV testing and cancer screenings.

Reproductive health-care providers across the country are united in their belief that CMP’s smear campaign, and the subsequent legislative and political attacks on Planned Parenthood—from the federal level down to the local levelare responsible for the surge in violence.

“It’s hard not to infer that rhetoric doesn’t have consequences, including potentially having connection to the motivation for these attacks,” Frizzell said. In fact, following the November 27 shooting in Colorado, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) urged her fellow politicians to stop the “poisonous rhetoric” that was creating a climate of terror for “doctors, nurses and patients.” Activists and advocates allege that, all across the country, elected officials have fanned the flames of the violent anti-choice movement, creating a hostile environment for those seeking to access or provide reproductive health care.

While fears of more anti-choice terrorism are running high, particularly in the aftermath of the tragedy in Colorado last weekend, patients and providers say the incidents have only strengthened their determination to keep clinics open, and continue to access necessary care. All of the Planned Parenthood staff that spoke with Rewire said that patient numbers, even immediately following the attacks, remained steady—though some, as in the case of the Claremont health center, had to be referred to other locations.

“Despite the unwelcome consequences of funding loss and the extensive damage, these attacks have led to an outpouring of community support,” Frizzell said. “The cumulative effect of all these events has motivated many of our supporters to engage at a higher level—be they activists, donors, or our patients, who’ve all been raising their voices and telling their stories.”

In Pullman, Riordan said, community members came out in droves in an overwhelming show of support for the clinic, organizing fundraisers and tacking notes of support to the fences outside the ravaged facility. This past weekend, scores of people took to the streets in a national day of solidarity with Planned Parenthood.

“We realize the intent [of the attacks] is to silence us, drive us away from this work, and limit resources but this only deepens our resolve to continue the work to destigmatize women’s health,” Riordan stated. “If we do this, it won’t be possible for politicians to continue making fanatical and false representations about women’s health.”