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Violence and the anti-abortion movement Rogers, Saretta 2000

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V I O L E N C E AND T H E ANTI-ABORTION  MOVEMENT  by SARETTA  ROGERS  B . A . , S i m o n F r a s e r U n i v e r s i t y , 1979 H . B . S . W . , L a k e h e a d U n v e r s i t y , 1990  A T H E S I S SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L L F I L L M E N T O F THE REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E DEGREE O F MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK  in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES S c h o o l of S o c i a l W o r k  We accept t h i s thesis as conforming toSthe r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d  T H E UNIVERSITY O F BRITISH C O L U M B I A May, 2000 ©  Saretta B a r b a r a Rogers, 2 0 0 0  In presenting  this thesis  in partial fulfilment  of  the  requirements  for  an  advanced  degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for copying  of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my  department  or  by  his  or  her  representatives.  It  is  understood  that  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without permission.  Department jjf^ ^  ^  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  DE-6 (2/88)  extensive  copying  or  my written  V i o l e n c e a n d the A n t i - A b o r t i o n M o v e m e n t Impact o n A b o r t i o n C l i n i c Staff Abstract The purpose of t h i s w o r k i s to e x a m i n e the a b o r t i o n debate i n N o r t h A m e r i c a a n d the i m p a c t of the violence emerging from the a n t i a b o r t i o n faction; h o w t h i s violence h a s evolved; the i m p a c t the violence i s h a v i n g o n a b o r t i o n c l i n i c staff i n one c l i n i c ; a n d e x p l a n a t i o n s of t h i s violence offered by feminist theory. Little h a s been w r i t t e n a b o u t the i m p a c t the violence i s h a v i n g o n a b o r t i o n c l i n i c staff. The p u r p o s e of t h i s thesis i s to examine this phenomena.  T h i s w i l l be a c c o m p l i s h e d by p r e s e n t i n g the  r e s u l t s of interviews c o n d u c t e d w i t h four a b o r t i o n c l i n i c staff from a s t a n d alone c l i n i c i n a large u r b a n center i n N o r t h A m e r i c a . The r e s u l t s o b t a i n e d provide v a l u a b l e i n s i g h t s into the far r e a c h i n g i m p a c t c a u s e d by t h i s violence. O n a p o l i t i c a l level, t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n i s useful for those l o b b y i n g for legal changes. O n a p e r s o n a l level, t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n m a y be helpful to s o c i a l w o r k e r s a n d others c o n s i d e r i n g entering t h i s field, a s w e l l as for those i n areas of family c o u n s e l l i n g a n d p s y c h i a t r i c s o c i a l w o r k . T h i s c a n lead to d e s i g n i n g productive w a y s to c o u n t e r p o t e n t i a l damage, e m o t i o n a l a n d otherwise. In a g l o b a l sense, t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n c o u l d a i d those l o o k i n g for ' c o m m o n g r o u n d ' r e g a r d i n g t h i s i s s u e by i l l u m i n a t i n g the damage c a u s e d by the violence a n d the need to find some form of c o m p r o m i s e between the p r o - a b o r t i o n a n d a n t i - a b o r t i o n factions.  TABLE O F CONTENTS  Abstract Table of Contents  ii iii  Chapter One - Introduction  1  Chapter Two - Historical Overview  7  Abortion through History  8  A b o r t i o n a n d Religion  15  A b o r t i o n a n d the L a w  18  Chapter Three - Literature Review  21  F e m i n i s t Theory a n d the L a w  21  M o r a l / P h i l o s o p h i c a l Issues  25  L e g a l / C o n s t i t u t i o n a l Issues  28  M e d i c a l / P s y c h o l o g i c a l Issues  30  The Legacy of Violence  32  Chapter Four - Methodology  35  Chapter Five - Research Findings and Implications  39  Chapter Six - Summary and Conclusions  50  Bibliography  57  iii  \  V I O L E N C E AND T H E ANTI-ABORTION M O V E M E N T Chapter One - Introduction  The purpose of t h i s w o r k is to examine the abortion debate i n N o r t h A m e r i c a a n d the i m p a c t of the violence emerging from the a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction; h o w t h i s violence has evolved; the i m p a c t the violence i s h a v i n g on a b o r t i o n c l i n i c staff i n one clinic; a n d explanations of this violence offered by feminist theory. A b o r t i o n h a s been the subject of m a n y pieces of research a n d other s c h o l a r l y w r i t i n g s . Historically, the r e s e a r c h generally focussed o n three major areas: m o r a l / p h i l o s o p h i c a l a r g u m e n t s ( F i g u e i r a - M c D o n o u g h a n d S a r r i , 1987, L u k e r , 1985); l e g a l / c o n s t i t u t i o n a l a r g u m e n t s a b o u t the benefits or d r a w b a c k s about legalizing a b o r t i o n (Graber, 1996, M o r t o n , 1992); a n d m e d i c a l a r g u m e n t s a b o u t the p s y c h o l o g i c a l / p h y s i c a l effects of a b o r t i o n (Rodman, S a r v i s a n d B o n a r , 1997, M c C a i n , 1994). C u r r e n t l y there is more research f o c u s s i n g o n a b o r t i o n c l i n i c violence b u t the focus h a s been on d o c u m e n t i n g the violence not necessarily the i m p a c t o n c l i n i c staff.  [National A b o r t i o n  F e d e r a t i o n (NAF), 1997; C a n a d i a n A b o r t i o n Rights A c t i o n League (CARAL); 1998, F e m i n i s t M a j o r i t y F o u n d a t i o n , 1999]. N A F a n d C A R A L have done a considerable a m o u n t of w o r k i n the area of d o c u m e n t i n g the violence o c c u r r i n g against a b o r t i o n providers over the p a s t ten y e a r s a n d offer some r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s to c o m b a t a n d to reduce the violence. Little h a s been w r i t t e n a b o u t the i m p a c t the violence is h a v i n g o n a b o r t i o n c l i n i c staff. The purpose of this thesis is to examine t h i s p h e n o m e n a . T h i s w i l l be a c c o m p l i s h e d by presenting the results of interviews l  c o n d u c t e d w i t h four a b o r t i o n clinic staff from a s t a n d alone c l i n i c i n a large u r b a n center i n N o r t h A m e r i c a .  The legalizing of a b o r t i o n i n C a n a d a i n 1969 a n d i n the U n i t e d States i n 1974, m o b i l i z e d the a n t i - a b o r t i o n movement a n d accelerated the controversy. A s life becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y c o m p l e x a n d stressful i n today's society, people are i n c r e a s i n g l y distressed by w h a t they view as the d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of society; f a m i l y / m a r r i a g e b r e a k d o w n , i n d i s c r i m i n a t e violence a n d m u r d e r o u s rampages i n the n a m e of religious or p o l i t i c a l beliefs (Bower, 1996, F a l u d i , 1992).  V i o l e n t a n t i - a b o r t i o n protest m e t h o d s began i n the early 1970's.  'Operation  Rescue', one of the more well k n o w n r a d i c a l a n t i - a b o r t i o n g r o u p s formed i n the m i d 1980's a n d ' M i s s i o n a r i e s of the R e b o r n ' are a n ' O p e r a t i o n R e s c u e ' s p l i n t e r group that h a s organized p a r a - m i l i t a r y t r a i n i n g for its m e m b e r s .  In  the b e g i n n i n g , the b o m b i n g s , a r s o n , d e a t h threats, a n d other violent acts were r a n d o m i z e d a n d u n o r g a n i z e d b u t i n recent y e a r s there i s g r o w i n g evidence p r o d u c e d by the Office of International C r i m i n a l J u s t i c e (University of Illinois, 1999) that the violent extremist groups are meeting a n d o r g a n i z i n g together. Some of these 'fringe-cells' have developed r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h r i g h t - w i n g m i l i t i a s . Recently the K l u K l u x K l a n , the 'white s u p r e m i s t ' group operating i n the U n i t e d States, h a s been m a k i n g i n r o a d s into the a n t i - a b o r t i o n movement. They are t a k i n g a stiff a n t i a b o r t i o n stance a n d are p a r t i c u l a r l y opposed to federal i n t e r v e n t i o n to  2  protect a b o r t i o n c l i n i c s . It is d i s t u r b i n g to consider the s t r u c t u r e a n d resources they c o u l d b r i n g to the movement (Office of I n t e r n a t i o n a l C r i m i n a l J u s t i c e , 1999).  H e a d l i n e s i n the V a n c o u v e r Province newspaper i l l u s t r a t e the violence t h a t c l i n i c w o r k e r s face, for example: "Doctor Shot in his Vancouver Home" (November 9, 1994, pg. 2). D r . G a r s o n R o m a l i s , a n a b o r t i o n provider, w a s shot by a b u l l e t fired t h r o u g h a w i n d o w of h i s home. He w a s s e r i o u s l y i n j u r e d b u t s u r v i v e d . A n o t h e r is: "Clinic Blast Kills Cop" ( J a n u a r y 3 0 , 1998, pg. 36). A powerful b o m b exploded at a n A l a b a m a c l i n i c a n d k i l l e d a n off d u t y policy officer who w a s m o o n l i g h t i n g as a security g u a r d at the a b o r t i o n c l i n i c . A c l i n i c n u r s e w a s also i n j u r e d a n d p a r t i a l l y b l i n d e d i n the attack. B o t h h a d j u s t arrived at the c l i n i c w h e n the b o m b detonated at the front entrance. The headline, "New York Doctor Murdered" (October 2 5 , 1998, pg. 1) refers to D r . B a r n e t S l e p i a n , a n a b o r t i o n provider w h o w a s k i l l e d by a shot fired t h r o u g h the k i t c h e n w i n d o w i n h i s s u b u r b a n h o m e i n Buffalo, New Y o r k . F i n a l l y , the header, "Abortion Clinics on Shooter Alert" (October 17, 1999, pg. A10) notes t h a t a police t a s k force investigating the shootings of five a b o r t i o n doctors w i l l w a r n h e a l t h care providers across N o r t h A m e r i c a t h i s week a b o u t the p o s s i b i l i t y of a n o t h e r a t t a c k as R e m e m b r a n c e D a y a p p r o a c h e d .  R e m e m b r a n c e D a y h a s been  c h o s e n by some extremist a n t i a b o r t i o n groups o n w h i c h to 'remember' the u n b o r n c h i l d r e n of abortions by c o m m i t t i n g acts of violence a g a i n s t a b o r t i o n providers.  3  T h e e s c a l a t i o n of violent m e a s u r e s is n o w being d o c u m e n t e d b u t the i m p a c t o n a b o r t i o n providers has not been fully a d d r e s s e d or e x p l a i n e d . Some doctors a n d other clinic w o r k e r s are c o m i n g forward a n d offering statements to government committees l o o k i n g at t h i s i s s u e ( A r m s t r o n g , M D , 1995). A g a i n , t h i s is d o c u m e n t i n g w h a t is o c c u r r i n g b u t not a t t e m p t i n g to e x p l a i n w h y or h o w it is i m p a c t i n g o n these people's lives.  The p o s i t i o n t a k e n i n t h i s thesis is that the a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction a n d the emerging violence is a n expression of h a t r e d a n d anger towards w o m e n , p a r t i c u l a r l y 'feminists' a n d w h a t it is perceived they represent. U n d e r l y i n g t h i s is the fear a n d anger at a loss of c o n t r o l over w o m e n , w h e t h e r real or perceived ( F a l u d i , 1992). H a t r e d a n d anger t o w a r d s w o m e n s u r r o u n d s u s daily. We are i n u n d a t e d w i t h images of violence towards w o m e n t h r o u g h a l l forms of c o m m u n i c a t i o n ; m e d i a , art, b o o k s . We are a s s a i l e d by more t h a n images, b u t real stories of w o m e n b e i n g beaten, r a p e d a n d k i l l e d i n i n c r e a s i n g n u m b e r s (Crawford, 1992, S m a r t , 1989, W a l k e r 1979).  E v i d e n c e from the research done for t h i s thesis indicates t h a t a b o r t i o n c l i n i c w o r k e r s ' lives are negatively i m p a c t e d o n a d a i l y b a s i s by the ever present threat of violence from the a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction. T h i s t a k e s a t r e m e n d o u s toll o n the q u a l i t y of their lives.  4  T h o u g h there have always been those v o i c i n g disagreement w i t h a b o r t i o n , some more vehemently that others, the roots of the violence of the a n t i a b o r t i o n faction really began to emerge w h e n legal challenges r e s u l t e d i n c o u r t d e c i s i o n s w h i c h allowed w o m e n the right to choose a n a b o r t i o n . T h o s e at the forefront of the a n t i - a b o r t i o n violent a c t i v i s m have been p r e d o m i n a n t l y male. One study of abortion-related violence i n d i c a t e s t h a t m a n y males involved are operating out of a desire to c o n t r o l a n d even p u n i s h w o m e n , i n contrast to female picketers w h o a p p e a r to be a c t i n g out of a c o n c e r n for their right to picket a n d express  disagreement  a b o u t a b o r t i o n (Prewitt 8& B l a n c h a r d , 1993).  A feminist a n a l y s i s w i l l be a p p l i e d to assist i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g the violence emerging from the a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction as; " A b o r t i o n is i n t r i n s i c a l l y a n d i n t i m a t e l y a w o m e n ' s issue given their exclusive c a p a c i t y to become pregnant" ( F i g u e r i r a - M c D o n o u g h 8B S a r r i , 1987, 42). B e c a u s e of t h i s , a b o r t i o n a n d the right to choose is integral to the feminist movement. T h e k e y element here h a s always been a b o u t choice. T h e f e m i n i s t stance h a s not been a b o u t p r o m o t i n g abortion, as some a n t i - a b o r t i o n s u p p o r t e r s w o u l d suggest, b u t it is a b o u t it being available as a n o p t i o n for those t h a t w a n t o r need it. F e m i n i s t theory (Currie, 1 9 9 1 , E n n s , 1997) i s a logical choice to explore a n d e x p l a i n this issue i n that it is b a s e d o n the concept t h a t s o c i a l p r o b l e m s are seen as a r i s i n g from a p a t r i a r c h a l s y s t e m based o n male c o n t r o l of a l l aspects of society; e c o n o m i c a l l y , politically, socially a n d intellectually. The violence of the a n t i - a b o r t i o n  5  faction c a n be seen as related to the larger i s s u e of violence a g a i n s t w o m e n a n d m i s o g y n i s t attitudes i n society.  T h i s qualitative s t u d y e x a m i n e d the i m p a c t that a n t i - a b o r t i o n violence h a s h a d o n staff m e m b e r s from a s t a n d alone a b o r t i o n c l i n i c i n a large N o r t h A m e r i c a n u r b a n setting. The r e s e a r c h u t i l i z e s a feminist s t a n d p o i n t perspective i n interviewing the respondents.  I recognize a n d  have stated where I a m located a n d h o w t h i s influences h o w I experience the w o r l d . These c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , i n t u r n , influence h o w a n d w h y we s u p p o r t a p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n or stance, as i n pro-choice or a n t i - a b o r t i o n . T h i s is i m p o r t a n t because no matter h o w 'objective' we as researchers need or w a n t to be, a level of subjectivity is a l w a y s present a n d needs to be a c k n o w l e d g e d . "One's s t a n d p o i n t emerges from one's s o c i a l p o s i t i o n w i t h regards to gender, c u l t u r e , color ethnicity, c l a s s a n d s e x u a l o r i e n t a t i o n a n d h o w these factors interact a n d effect one's everyday w o r l d " (Swigonski, 1993, 8).  I clearly locate myself as a w o m a n w h o believes i n reproductive choice, as were the c l i n i c w o r k e r s I interviewed. B e c a u s e a feminist perspective c o n s i d e r s b o t h the female a n d male perspectives, from a feminist s t a n d p o i n t it is a r g u e d t h a t one is able to see the v i e w p o i n t s of b o t h m e n a n d w o m e n a n d t h u s the u n d e r s t a n d i n g is more complete, deeper a n d more c o m p l i c a t e d (Nielsen, 1990). R e s e a r c h from a s t a n d p o i n t perspective "attempts to u n d e r s t a n d h o w the social s t r u c t u r e c o n t r i b u t e s  6  to the p r o b l e m s f o u n d i n everyday life a n d seeks emancipatoryt r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the social structure" (Swigonski, 1993,9).  D a t a g a t h e r i n g involved the use of s e m i - s t r u c t u r e d , o p e n e n d e d q u e s t i o n s a l l o w i n g for the r e s p o n d e n t s ' experiences to unfold i n their o w n w o r d s i n a m a n n e r comfortable to t h e m . T h e respondents were four s t a n d alone a b o r t i o n c l i n i c w o r k e r s w h o a l l agreed to be interviewed for t h i s r e s e a r c h . A content a n a l y s i s of the interviews is presented i n t h i s paper, followed b y a d i s c u s s i o n of the interviews , the l i m i t a t i o n s of the s t u d y a n d suggestions for further r e s e a r c h i n this area.  Chapter Two - Historical Overview U p u n t i l the early 1 9  t h  century, abortion i n America was c o m m o n but  u n r e g u l a t e d . In 1 8 2 1 , A m e r i c a enacted its first statutory a b o r t i o n r e g u l a t i o n i n t e n d e d to protect w o m e n from the practices of u n t r a i n e d a b o r t i o n i s t s . In 1873, the C o m s t o c k A c t i n the U n i t e d States b a n n e d access to i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t a b o r t i o n a n d b i r t h c o n t r o l a n d l a w s were p a s s e d t h a t m a d e a b o r t i o n a c r i m e a n d , i n some cases the w o m e n w h o p r o c u r e d one c r i m i n a l s . It h a s been estimated that more t h a n one m i l l i o n illegal a b o r t i o n s a year were performed d u r i n g w h a t some c a l l the 'silent decades', between 1 8 2 1 - 1 9 5 5 (The Reproductive H e a l t h a n d R i g h t s C e n t e r , 1998).  In early G r e e k a n d R o m a n societies abortion w a s p r a c t i c e d quite widely. T h e advent of C h r i s t i a n i t y b r o u g h t w i t h it seeds of a n t i a b o r t i o n s e n t i m e n t a n d the b e g i n n i n g of the debate of w h e n life begins. F r o m here emerged a c o n t i n u i n g debate a n d conflict a m o n g c u l t u r e s t h r o u g h o u t the w o r l d a r o u n d the theory a n d practice of abortion. W h i l e m a n y c u l t u r e s at v a r i o u s times c o n d e m n e d a b o r t i o n i n theory, they c o n d o n e d it i n practice. H i s t o r y shows that t h r o u g h o u t the w o r l d the chief a b o r t i o n debaters were m e n . T h i s is still prevalent today (ie. Morgentaler v B o r o w s k i , C a n a d a ' s pro-choice a n d a n t i - a b o r t i o n c r u s a d e r s , respectively). A s well, m e n a p p e a r to have been the d o m i n a n t force i n p r o m o t i n g the theoretical c o n d e m n a t i o n of a b o r t i o n w h i l e the practice of a b o r t i o n w a s accepted by w o m e n (Hurst, 1989).  A b o r t i o n s are c a r r i e d out i n every c o u n t r y i n the w o r l d today regardless of the l a w or a n t i - a b o r t i o n violence. It is estimated t h a t w o r l d w i d e , fifty m i l l i o n abortions o c c u r every year (Kingston W o m e n ' s C e n t r e , 1995) W h e r e a b o r t i o n is p r o h i b i t e d or restricted, serious h e a l t h p r o b l e m s are p o s e d for w o m e n . M u c h of M u s l i m A s i a , L a t i n A m e r i c a a n d A f r i c a fall into t h i s category.  Some w o m e n take great r i s k s to have a n a b o r t i o n .  A f r i c a n w o m e n have twigs inserted into their cervix to i n d u c e c o n t r a c t i o n s . Z a m b i a n w o m e n d r i n k gasoline or detergent for the s a m e p u r p o s e a n d L a t i n A m e r i c a n w o m e n use catheters, k n i t t i n g needles or coat h a n g e r s to a c c o m p l i s h t h i s end. M a n y w o m e n die from s u c h methods.  It is estimated that between 100,000 to 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 w o m e n a year  dies from illegal abortions (Kingston W o m e n ' s Centre, 1995). W o m e n i n  C a n a d a a n d the U n i t e d States take s i m i l a r r i s k s to their lives w h e n safe p r o c e d u r e s are not accessible to t h e m .  W o m e n w i l l resort to i n c r e d i b l y  d a n g e r o u s procedures to e n d a n u n w a n t e d pregnancy a n d have done so for centuries.  H i s t o r i c a l l y there have been a variety of reasons for p r o h i b i t i n g a b o r t i o n . In N a z i G e r m a n y a b o r t i o n w a s strictly p r o h i b i t e d as ' A r y a n ' w o m e n were to r e p r o d u c e the 'master race'. The penalty for o b t a i n i n g a n a b o r t i o n w a s death. W o m e n were encouraged not to w o r k a n d f i n a n c i a l incentives were u s e d to encourage c h i l d b e a r i n g . J o s e p h Goebbels, p r o p a g a n d a m i n i s t e r for Hitler, made the following c l a i m :  T h e m i s s i o n of a l l w o m e n is to be beautiful a n d b r i n g c h i l d r e n into the w o r l d . T h i s is not at a l l as rude a n d u n m o d e r n as it s o u n d s . T h e female b i r d pretties herself for her mate a n d h a t c h e s eggs for h i m . In exchange, the male takes care of gathering the food a n d g u a r d s a n d w a r d s off the enemy (Kingston W o m e n ' s C e n t r e , 1995, 10).  T h i s m a y seem a n extreme example, b u t sadly there are m a n y today t h a t s u b s c r i b e to t h i s as w o m e n ' s 'proper role'. In relation to the d i s c u s s i o n here, t h i s ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' m o d e l of w o m e n ' s role is integral to m a n y a n t i a b o r t i o n i s t platforms.  Race a n d c l a s s were also factors for a n t i - a b o r t i o n l a w s i n C a n a d a i n the 19  t h  c e n t u r y . A b o r t i o n w a s i n c r e a s i n g l y u s e d b y white, m i d d l e a n d u p p e r  c l a s s w o m e n to c o n t r o l their family size (Kingston W o m e n ' s C e n t r e , 1995). T h o s e w h o were 'native b o r n ' i n C a n a d a were c o n c e r n e d w i t h w h a t they s a w as 'race s u i c i d e ' of the A n g l o S a x o n p o p u l a t i o n . T h i s w a s i n respect  to F r e n c h C a n a d i a n a n d 'foreign' i m m i g r a n t s . 'Anglo S a x o n ' w o m e n w h o u s e d contraceptives or a b o r t i o n were seen as 'traitors to the race'. c o n t r a c e p t i o n w a s made illegal. A n o t h e r trend i n the 1 9  t h  Thus  century was  r e s t r i c t i n g a b o r t i o n because of demographic c o n c e r n s of the state. There w a s a need for c o n t i n u e d p o p u l a t i o n growth to fill g r o w i n g i n d u s t r i e s a n d new farmable territories (Kingston W o m e n ' s Centre, 1995).  F r o m 1960 - 1969 i n N o r t h A m e r i c a , p r e s s u r e for l i b e r a l i z a t i o n of a b o r t i o n l a w s w a s b u i l d i n g . W o m e n , empowered by the re-emerging feminist movement, contended that it w a s a w o m a n ' s right to exercise c o n t r o l over h e r o w n body. M a n y felt that the government h a d n o b u s i n e s s interfering i n private decisions made by w o m e n a n d their families. In 1967, i n the U n i t e d States, D r . L e o n B e l o u s w a s c o n v i c t e d of referring a w o m a n to a n illegal abortionist. He i n s i s t e d h i s case be u s e d to raise a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l challenge to California's a n t i a b o r t i o n statute. In 1969 the C a l i f o r n i a S u p r e m e C o u r t declared the state statute u n c o n s t i t u t i o n a l a n d f o u n d for the right to choose a n a b o r t i o n .  Spurred  by the s u c c e s s of the B e l o u s case, other cases began to flow into state a n d lower c o u r t s i n the U n i t e d States. T h i s l e d to the defining case of Roe vs W a d e i n 1973, where the U n i t e d States S u p r e m e C o u r t h a n d e d d o w n its d e c i s i o n a n n o u n c i n g that the U n i t e d States C o n s t i t u t i o n protects a w o m a n ' s right to decide to e n d her p r e g n a n c y (The R e p r o d u c t i v e H e a l t h a n d R i g h t s Center, 1998).  10  In 1969 C a n a d a , following the B r i t i s h example, a m e n d e d its a b o r t i o n l a w after a decade of agitation for reform. Before this, a b o r t i o n w a s c o n s i d e r e d a c r i m e i n the C r i m i n a l Code (Section 251) u n l e s s performed to save the mother's life. The C a n a d i a n C r i m i n a l Code a n d its a b o r t i o n p r o v i s i o n s were adopted from B r i t i s h C r i m i n a l law i n 1892 ( M o r t o n , 1994). A b o r t i o n reform i n B r i t a i n w a s well o n its w a y i n the 1960's, the p r i m a r y i m p e t u s b e i n g the Wolfenden Report i n 1957. T h i s report r e c o m m e n d e d the d e c r i m i n a l i z a t i o n of h o m o s e x u a l i t y a n d p r o s t i t u t i o n , stating t h a t "there m u s t r e m a i n a r e a l m of private m o r a l i t y a n d i m m o r a l i t y . . . . w h i c h i s not the law's b u s i n e s s " (Morton, 1994, 9). T h o u g h t h i s report d i d not directly deal w i t h a b o r t i o n , this p r i n c i p l e that the l a w h a s no place d i c t a t i n g a n d enforcing private m o r a l i t y w a s i n s t r u m e n t a l i n the a b o r t i o n reform t h a t followed. A reform b i l l that allowed for a b o r t i o n o n d e m a n d w a s adopted i n 1966. C a n a d a followed s u i t i n 1969, the debate w h i c h led t h e n J u s t i c e M i n i s t e r Pierre T r u d e a u to m a k e the famous r e m a r k t h a t "the state h a s no b u s i n e s s i n the bedrooms of the n a t i o n . " The focus of the debate w a s the O m n i b u s C r i m i n a l Code Reform B i l l t h a t a l o n g w i t h other t h i n g s a d d r e s s e d changes to the a b o r t i o n law. The reform d i d not d e c r i m i n a l i z e a b o r t i o n , b u t d i d m a k e t h e m more readily available as the c r i t e r i a c h a n g e d from b e i n g dependent o n the mother's life b e i n g at r i s k to the broader c r i t e r i a of the h e a l t h of the m o t h e r b e i n g at r i s k ( M o r t o n , 1994).  ll  T h e feminist movement i n C a n a d a played a rather m i n o r role i n the i n i t i a l stages of a b o r t i o n reform. The major players were the C a n a d i a n M e d i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n a n d the C a n a d i a n B a r A s s o c i a t i o n . The m o t i v a t i o n a p p e a r s to have been to protect doctors. Doctors w h o were already p e r f o r m i n g a b o r t i o n s w a n t e d legislative protection to legalize w h a t they were a l r e a d y d o i n g (Morton, 1994).  A b o r t i o n h a s always existed, legal or not, because it is necessary.  David  M a l l s p e a k s a b o u t the prevalence of a b o r t i o n over the c e n t u r i e s as follows, "Anthropologists r e m i n d u s t h a t every k n o w n c u l t u r e w h e t h e r literate or preliterate, p r i m i t i v e or m o d e r n , has engaged i n it" (Sheeran, 1987, 99). A b o r t i o n i s s u c h a volatile i s s u e because it involves h i g h l y c h a r g e d issues; sex, religion a n d politics. A c e n t r a l q u e s t i o n for the s t u d y b e i n g u n d e r t a k e n here is w h y is a b o r t i o n a social i s s u e a n d h o w c a n feminist theory h e l p e x p l a i n it.  Nowhere i s c o n t r o l a more c e n t r a l issue t h a n a r o u n d the i s s u e of reproductive c o n t r o l : " C h i l d b e a r i n g is at the same time very private a n d u n i q u e l y feminine a n d h i g h l y p o l i t i c a l a n d male controlled. It is t h i s t e n s i o n between private a n d p u b l i c , between female a n d male c o n t r o l t h a t b i n d s u s to the social a n d political aspects of r e p r o d u c t i o n a n d c a n m a k e w o m e n h i g h l y sensitive to the socio-political context of r e p r o d u c t i o n " ( M c D a n i e l , 1998, 175).  H i s t o r i c a l l y , w o m e n ' s perceived p r i m a r y role h a s been r e p r o d u c t i o n . T h i s is l i n k e d to the stated 'biological t r u t h ' that a l l w o m e n w a n t a n d need c h i l d r e n i n order to be fulfilled a n d complete (Frieden, 1963, M o o d y A d a m s , 1997). T a m p e r i n g w i t h t h i s belief, as i n a b o r t i o n a n d the emerging reproductive technologies, h a s c a u s e d a furor i f not p a n i c i n the 'conservative right'. T h i s 'conservative right' also represents a large majority of the a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction.  It c a n be argued t h a t there is a h i d d e n agenda i n the a n t i - a b o r t i o n m o v e m e n t t h a t h a s n o t h i n g to do w i t h c o n c e r n for fetal rights. T h i s is the fear t h a t as w o m e n c o n t r o l their reproductive c a p a c i t y (ie. freely choose a n d have access to abortions) t h i s frees t h e m to choose other p a t h s as w e l l , other t h a n n u r t u r e r s of the family a n d of males. T h i s moves w o m e n a w a y from the n u c l e a r family m o d e l a n d a dependency o n m a l e s . T h i s i s d i s g u i s e d by rhetoric a b o u t v a l u i n g w o m e n i n the ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' role a n d a b a c k l a s h against f e m i n i s m as destroyer of a l l t h a t i s 'positive' i n society, p a s t a n d present.  T h e founder of the U n i t e d States b a s e d O p e r a t i o n R e s c u e , R a n d a l l Terry, is a d o m i n a n t figure i n the right w i n g Protestant a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction. H i s c o u n t e r p a r t i n the C a t h o l i c right w i n g is J o s e p h S c h e i d l e r . The c o m m o n theme of b o t h factions is the rationale t h a t t h e i r violent a n t i a b o r t i o n tactics are c a r r y i n g o u t G o d ' s w i l l ; the need to assert c o n t r o l over s e c u l a r society. These groups profess that "the w o r l d w i l l not k n o w h o w to live or w h i c h d i r e c t i o n to go w i t h o u t the c h u r c h ' s b i b l i c a l influence o n  13  its theories, l a w s , actions a n d i n s t i t u t i o n s , i n c l u d i n g o p p o s i t i o n to s u c h s o c i a l m o r a l evils as a b o r t i o n o n d e m a n d , fornication, h o m o s e x u a l i t y , s e x u a l entertainment, state u s u r p a t i o n of p a r e n t a l rights a n d G o d given liberties...." (Berlet, 1996, 5). In some of the extremist a n t i - a b o r t i o n factions there i s a l m o s t a sense of entitlement to the violence they perpetrate.  T h e s u p p o r t of t h i s entitlement is l i n k e d to these same  C h r i s t i a n right w i n g groups.  S o m e less e x t r e m i s t a n t i - a b o r t i o n g r o u p s are i n o p p o s i t i o n to t a k i n g life i n a n y form, seeing a b o r t i o n a n d c a p i t a l p u n i s h m e n t as a p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y seamless i s s u e . O t h e r s m a k e a n a r g u m e n t that y o u c a n s u p p o r t c a p i t a l p u n i s h m e n t b u t not a b o r t i o n based o n a n interpretation of i n n o c e n c e a n d guilt; the u n b o r n c h i l d is i n n o c e n t a n d a m u r d e r e r is not. T h i s is p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y c o n s i s t e n t to t h e m . We m u s t respect i n n o c e n t life (the u n b o r n c h i l d against abortion) a n d protect society against m u r d e r o u s aggressors (capital p u n i s h m e n t ) . The sense of entitlement i s also c o n n e c t e d to the belief i n the stated c o n s t i t u t i o n a l right to bear a r m s ; if they don't start t a k i n g b a c k c o n t r o l i n m a n y arenas, not j u s t a b o r t i o n , the government w i l l c o n t i n u e to infringe o n t h e i r r i g h t s (The B r a n c h D a v i d i a n s i n W a c o , Texas a n d the Weaver family i n R u b y Ridge, are b o t h e x a m p l e s of w h a t some see as over reaction a n d excessive force b e i n g u s e d by the government r e s u l t i n g i n the deaths of people e x e r c i s i n g t h e i r c o n s t i t u t i o n a l rights to bear arms) (Berlet, 1996).  Religion h a s h a d a d r a m a t i c i m p a c t o n the a b o r t i o n i s s u e . No major religion h a s a unified p o s i t i o n o n the subject of a b o r t i o n except the C a t h o l i c C h u r c h , w h i c h is s t a u n c h l y a n t i - a b o r t i o n . It c a n be a r g u e d t h a t it is a n t i - w o m e n as well, i n that they deny w o m e n power w i t h i n the c h u r c h h i e r a r c h y a n d promote the p a t r i a r c h a l s y s t e m outside the c h u r c h . Interestingly, the c h u r c h h a s not h i s t o r i c a l l y been so opposed to a b o r t i o n as it is today. In its first six centuries, it took the p o s i t i o n t h a t a b o r t i o n w a s not m u r d e r because a fetus d i d not have a s o u l . A u g u s t i n e h e l d that: "One c a n n o t be s a i d to be deprived of a s o u l i f one h a s n o t yet received a s o u l . The law does not provide that the act p e r t a i n s to h o m i c i d e , for there c a n n o t be s a i d to be a live s o u l i n a body t h a t l a c k s s e n s a t i o n , if it is not yet formed i n flesh a n d so not yet e n d o w e d w i t h sense" (Hurst, 1989, 87).  T h e u n d e r l y i n g r e a s o n for the C a t h o l i c C h u r c h o p p o s i n g a b o r t i o n w a s b e c a u s e it w a s a n d still is s u p p o s e d to c o n c e a l the r e a l ' s i n ' of a d u l t e r y a n d f o r n i c a t i o n . T h e C a t h o l i c C h u r c h , t h o u g h a l w a y s o p p o s e d to a b o r t i o n , v a s c i l a t e d i n terms of extremes of its p o s i t i o n for c e n t u r i e s .  In  the 1960's w h e n the w o m e n ' s movement began agitating for reproductive rights, the C a t h o l i c c h u r c h felt it w a s necessary to more firmly oppose a b o r t i o n . In 1974, after Roe vs W a d e , the V a t i c a n i s s u e d a ' D e c l a r a t i o n o n A b o r t i o n ' that removed a n y a m b i g u i t y about w h e n life begins, s t a t i n g that: "to abort a fetus w a s to r i s k c o m m i t t i n g m u r d e r , it n a m e d it a grave s i n " (Hurst, 1989, 88).  15  A n a r g u m e n t c a n be made that it is h y p o c r i s y i n its highest form to i n d i c t a b o r t i o n but, i n essence, s u p p o r t m u r d e r or k i l l i n g i n other forms. F o r e x a m p l e , i n war, c a p i t a l p u n i s h m e n t , o n religious g r o u n d s o r a n t i a b o r t i o n violence. T h i s is often the case w i t h a n t i - a b o r t i o n advocates a n d leads one to q u e s t i o n w h a t the m o t i v a t i o n is for t h i s stance.  One answer  is that the m o t i v a t i o n is the r e p r e s s i o n of w o m e n (Hurst, 1989, 89).  W h e n one l o o k s at other positions the C a t h o l i c C h u r c h takes, it s u p p o r t s t h i s c l a i m of repression. It denies w o m e n c o n t r o l over their bodies b y f o r b i d d i n g c o n t r a c e p t i o n a n d a b o r t i o n a n d b y t e a c h i n g t h a t w o m e n are s u b o r d i n a t e i n marriage. A n t i - a b o r t i o n factions have the s u p p o r t of the C a t h o l i c C h u r c h w h i c h is a powerful force i n the w o r l d today a n d t h i s is a major factor i n their r i s i n g profile. T h o u g h the C a t h o l i c C h u r c h does n o t s u p p o r t a b o r t i o n it does not i n a n y way formally endorse the violence of the a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction.  A n o t h e r interesting element about the C a t h o l i c C h u r c h a n d a b o r t i o n are the feminist, pro-choice C a t h o l i c s . O n e pro-choice C a t h o l i c suggests t h a t C a n o n L a w t h a t governs the C a t h o l i c C h u r c h is not infallible a n d h a s been interpreted differently b y different c h u r c h leaders. C a n o n L a w 1398 specifically m a k e s a b o r t i o n a n e x c o m m u n i c a b l e offense (Stasek, 1999). It is i m p o r t a n t to note that C a n o n L a w w a s not formulated b y a legislature. It i s l a w d r a w n u p b y the C h u r c h leaders w h o m are largely, i f n o t solely, m a l e . T h i s pro-choice C a t h o l i c argues t h a t there are a l w a y s exceptions to l a w s a n d a b o r t i o n c a n be a n exception. O n e m u s t follow one's c o n s c i e n c e  o n m o r a l decisions; " well formed, educated, prayerful, t h o u g h t f u l , m o r a l decisions" (Stasek, 1999). B a s i n g their beliefs o n the t r a d i t i o n s a n d teachings over the whole h i s t o r y of the c h u r c h , she believes it is c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the c h u r c h to be pro-choice.  M o s t W e s t e r n democracies liberalized their a b o r t i o n p o l i t i c s i n the 1960's a n d 1970's. P o l i t i c i a n s w o u l d generally like to see the a b o r t i o n i s s u e d i s a p p e a r entirely or at least from their arena.  P o l i t i c i a n s , often r u l e d b y  the perceived need to stay away from h i g h l y charged, p o l a r i z e d i s s u e s find a b o r t i o n a difficult one. Three strategies have c h a r a c t e r i z e d p o l i t i c a l r e s p o n s e s to a b o r t i o n ; abstinence, postponement a n d d e - p o l i t i c i z a t i o n . A b s t i n e n c e is w h e n governments refrain from t a k i n g a s t a n d . P o s t p o n e m e n t is a d e l a y i n g tactic w i t h the hope t h a t p r e s s u r e or reform g r o u p s w i l l lose m o m e n t u m a n d phase out. D e - p o l i t i c i z a t i o n is w h e n a b o r t i o n is re-defined as a t e c h n i c a l issue a n d p a s s e d o n the to experts. T h e experts i n t h i s case are those i n the field of m e d i c i n e , science or law. T h i s is no longer a viable s o l u t i o n as doctors a n d the c o u r t s are l o o k i n g for clearer guidelines from the state ( L o v e n d u s k i 8B O u t s h o o r n , 1986).  A b o r t i o n i n C a n a d a w a s d e c r i m i n a l i z e d o n J a n u a r y 2 8 , 1988, w h e n the S u p r e m e C o u r t of C a n a d a declared the o l d a b o r t i o n section of the C r i m i n a l C o d e (Section 251) u n c o n s t i t u t i o n a l i n the M o r g a n t a l e r case. B i l l C - 4 3 , the legislation to r e c r i m i n a l i z e a b o r t i o n , p a s s e d the H o u s e of C o m m o n s o n M a y 2 9 , 1990, by a n i n e vote m a r g i n . The n e w l a w w o u l d have made a b o r t i o n p u n i s h a b l e by u p to two years i n j a i l u n l e s s a doctor  17  d e t e r m i n e d t h a t c o n t i n u i n g a pregnancy threatened a w o m a n ' s p h y s i c a l , m e n t a l or p s y c h o l o g i c a l h e a l t h . It w a s defeated by the Senate o n J a n u a r y 3 1 , 1 9 9 1 . Today, there is no federal a b o r t i o n law ( C A R A L , 1998).  Before B i l l C - 4 3 w a s eventually defeated by the Senate, 6 0 to 100 doctors stopped performing abortions for fear of possible c r i m i n a l p r o s e c u t i o n w h i c h affected access to abortions i n m a n y regions i n C a n a d a .  According  to a 1990 cross C a n a d a survey by the Society of O b s t e t r i c i a n s a n d Gynecologists, a total of 2 7 5 doctors threatened to stop p e r f o r m i n g a b o r t i o n s i f the b i l l were passed.  F o r the M a r i t i m e a n d Prairie p r o v i n c e s ,  t h i s w o u l d have m e a n t that v i r t u a l l y a l l doctors there w o u l d have stopped p e r f o r m i n g abortions.  Since B i l l C 4 3 w a s defeated, there h a s been no  new a t t e m p t by the federal government to r e t u r n a b o r t i o n to the C r i m i n a l Code ( C A R A L , 1998).  People today c o n c e r n e d a b o u t d i s t u r b i n g trends of violence a n d a l i e n a t i o n often target a p a r t i c u l a r group or issue o n w h i c h to place b l a m e .  If y o u  c a n identify the 'enemy' y o u c a n focus o n e l i m i n a t i n g or defusing it. There are m a n y examples of t h i s that have o c c u r r e d t h r o u g h o u t history; genocide of v a r i o u s ethnic groups or h o m o s e x u a l i t y b e i n g seen as the c a u s e of the A I D S epidemic. In the case of the a b o r t i o n i s s u e , a n t i a b o r t i o n proponents 'blame' f e m i n i s m for destroying the very fabric of society, u p s e t t i n g the ' n a t u r a l ' order of things by c h a n g i n g w o m e n ' s role a n d p r o m o t i n g a b o r t i o n (Faludi, 1992, M o o d y - A d a m s , 1997).  18  A m o s t d i s t u r b i n g outcome of identifying pro-choice s u p p o r t e r s as the e n e m y is the i n c r e a s i n g violence being directed at t h e m from the a n t i a b o r t i o n faction. It a p p e a r s some have decided to take the l a w into their h a n d s a n d eliminate or m u r d e r those p r o v i d i n g abortions i n order to stop, as they state, the ' m u r d e r ' of u n b o r n babies. The threat of h a r m to doctors a n d a b o r t i o n c l i n i c staff h a s h a d a significant i m p a c t , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n light of recent m u r d e r s a n d attempted m u r d e r of doctors ( A r m s t r o n g , 1995, F e m i n i s t Majority F o u n d a t i o n , 1999). It h a s not, t h o u g h , stopped m a n y of these c o m m i t t e d people from c o n t i n u i n g to offer t h i s choice to women.  T h r e a t of p h y s i c a l h a r m is a c o m m o n form of s o c i a l c o n t r o l . M e t h o d s of s o c i a l c o n t r o l have been a p p l i e d to w o m e n i n v a r i o u s w a y s to keep t h e m i n a s u b o r d i n a t e p o s i t i o n . The m e t h o d s are so e n t r e n c h e d t h a t they are often i n v i s i b l e to m a n y a n d reflect the gendered exercise of power i n society. W o m e n are p u n i s h e d for stepping outside the 'appropriate' p r e s c r i b e d feminine role as passive, polite, n u r t u r i n g mothers/homemakers.  If w o m e n are too forceful or aggressive, too  s u c c e s s f u l or intelligent, please themselves before p l e a s i n g a m a n or seek fulfillment w i t h o u t a h u s b a n d or family, they are ostracized as 'deviant' ( D u b i n k s y , 1985, F a l u d i , 1992, S t e i n e m , 1999). T h i s c a n take the form of tolerating t h e m as j u s t 'odd' or eccentric, as u n b a l a n c e d a n d i n need of treatment, or d i s m i s s i n g t h e m entirely as aberrant, strident, m a n h a t i n g feminists. There is not a lot of positive reinforcement for s t e p p i n g outside the p r e s c r i b e d role. 19  The violence associated w i t h the a n t i a b o r t i o n faction h a s l e d to the necessity of drafting new laws to deal w i t h it; t h u s the 'bubble z o n e ' or buffer zone. In B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a i n 1995, the P r o v i n c i a l A c c e s s to A b o r t i o n Services A c t became law. It set u p 50 metre b u b b l e zones a r o u n d a b o r t i o n c l i n i c s , 10 metre zones for doctors' offices a n d 160 metre zones a r o u n d the h o m e s of a b o r t i o n providers. W i t h i n those zones, no one c a n try to d i s s u a d e someone from getting a n a b o r t i o n , film or videotape for t h a t purpose, or interfere w i t h t h e m p h y s i c a l l y . U n d e r the legislation it is also illegal to w a t c h repeatedly, to a p p r o a c h or to follow anyone w h o provides a b o r t i o n services, w i t h the intent of d i s s u a d i n g t h e m from p r o v i d i n g s u c h services. V i o l a t o r s face a m a x i m u m fine of $ 5 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 a n d 6 m o n t h s i n j a i l ' ( C a n a d i a n A b o r t i o n R i g h t s A c t i o n League, 1998). T h i s l a w h a s not proven to be p a r t i c u l a r l y effective. In the short r u n it i s seen as progress a n d some doctors a n d w o m e n s e e k i n g a b o r t i o n s feel s o m e w h a t safer b u t it h a s not stopped the protestors.  They just  c h a n g e d tactics (ie. w a l k by p r a y i n g inside the 'buffer' zone). The b o t t o m line, of course, is t h a t it does little for i n d i v i d u a l s ' p e r s o n a l safety against someone 'fanatical' e n o u g h to u s e a g u n .  In the U n i t e d States i n 1991, the F r e e d o m of A c c e s s to C l i n i c E n t r a n c e s A c t (FACE) l a w p a s s e d m a k i n g it a federal crime to b l o c k c l i n i c s a n d t h r e a t e n staff. The penalties are u p to a year i n j a i l a n d $ 1 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 fines. T h i s a p p a r e n t l y h a s not significantly d i m i n i s h e d the threat of violence b u t d i d d i m i n i s h , for a time, the i n c i d e n t s of c l i n i c b l o c k a d e s (Bower, 1996).  20  A possible e x p l a n a t i o n for the e s c a l a t i n g violence r e t u r n s u s to the c o n t r o l i s s u e . M a n y m e n are frustrated w i t h a perceived loss of c o n t r o l . A s w o m e n ' s roles change so do men's. M e n have to compete w i t h w o m e n i n a l l arenas, at least t h a t is the perception, a n d t h i s c o m p e t i t i o n i s n o t a l w a y s well received (Crawford, 1992, F a l u d i , 1992, F r e n c h , 1992, S t e i n e m , 1999). T h i s is new territory for m a n y m e n a n d it is t h r e a t e n i n g . It challenges a l l t h a t is comfortable a n d familiar for t h e m . M a r c L e p i n e ' s m u r d e r of 14 female engineering s t u d e n t s i n M o n t r e a l i n 1989 is a n extreme example of t h i s . He stated he w a n t e d to k i l l 'feminists' w h i c h he a p p a r e n t l y saw as a threat (National A c t i o n C o m m i t t e e o n W o m e n , 1990). There are those w h o argue that t h i s w a s a n isolated i n c i d e n t ; the w o r k of a ' d i s t u r b e d ' i n d i v i d u a l . U n d o u b t e d l y he w a s d i s t u r b e d b u t t h a t does not allow u s to d i s m i s s the issue of the perceived threat of feminists. T h i s is a pervasive influence i n western society, one to w h i c h m a n y do not o w n u p . A large n u m b e r of the a n t i a b o r t i o n faction endorse t h i s a n t i feminist stance a n d endorse, as well, violent m e a s u r e s to a c c o m p l i s h p o l i t i c a l ends.  Chapter Three - Literature Review  F e m i n i s t T h e o r y a n d the L a w  F e m i n i s t theory articulates v a r i o u s w a y s of seeing or a s k i n g q u e s t i o n s a b o u t u n d e r s t a n d i n g women's lives a n d experiences, the n a t u r e of i n e q u a l i t y between the sexes a n d the s t r u c t u r i n g of gender.  M u c h of  feminist theory is focussed o n the c o n n e c t i o n between gender, privilege, 21  the concept of self, social c l a s s , c u l t u r e a n d power a n d h o w these s h a p e o u r lives. F e m i n i s t theory h a s been criticized by t r a d i t i o n a l theorists (Cain, 1986, R a z a c k , 1988) b a s i c a l l y because it is seen as not m e e t i n g m a l e defined c r i t e r i a for theory. F e m i n i s t s , while not d i s c o u n t i n g the v a l u e of some ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' theorists i n p u t , refuse to accept t r a d i t i o n a l (often t r a n s l a t e d to male defined) or even r a d i c a l theorists e x p l a n a t i o n s for s o c i a l p h e n o m e n a . T h i s is because a major factor left o u t of the e q u a t i o n is the female perspective. A s C a r o l S m a r t states: "...what h a s p a s s e d for science is i n fact the w o r l d perceived from the perspective of m e n , w h a t l o o k s like objectivity is really s e x i s m a n d t h a t the k i n d s of q u e s t i o n s social science h a s t r a d i t i o n a l l y a s k e d have s y s t e m a t i c a l l y e x c l u d e d w o m e n a n d the interests of w o m e n . . . a t r u l y objective science w o u l d not be a n d r o c e n t r i c b u t w o u l d take a c c o u n t of b o t h genders" (Smart, 1990,77).  A feminist m o d e l is not a n t i - m a l e , as some believe, b u t is a b o u t e m b r a c i n g a l l t h a t is feminine a n d m a s c u l i n e i n a l l of u s a n d w o r k i n g o n the positive aspects of b o t h . It i s not solely a b o u t female i s s u e s or t h e i r view of the w o r l d . W h i l e it does i n c l u d e a female perspective, the k e y w o r d is i n c l u d e , w h i c h m e a n s a balance of b o t h the female a n d m a l e view of the i s s u e . T h i s , it c a n be argued, h a s not o c c u r r e d i n m o s t male c o n s t r u c t e d views of the w o r l d (Steinem, 1999, S m a r t , 1990, F a l u d i , 1992). So it is balance t h a t is the goal; a more equitable b u t also more realistic view of the w o r l d . W h a t i s not acceptable i s a m a l e side a n d male defined female side. W h a t is acceptable is representative a n d  a  e q u a l l y v a l u e d sides. P a r t of the b a c k l a s h against f e m i n i s m t h a t m a r k s some of the a n t - a b o r t i o n faction's m a n d a t e stems from t h i s n a r r o w view of f e m i n i s m as a n t i - m a l e .  C e n t r a l to the i s s u e of a b o r t i o n is the law. We have been l o o k i n g to the l a w to determine the legality of a b o r t i o n , w h e n a n d where they c a n be performed a n d w h o c a n perform t h e m . N o w , i n the w a k e of a n t i - a b o r t i o n violence, we are l o o k i n g to the l a w for s o l u t i o n s . O n the face of it, it seems a reasonable expectation that the l a w w o u l d set the s t a n d a r d s by w h i c h to address t h i s i s s u e . B u t the law, from some feminist perspectives, c a n n o t do the j o b because the power of l a w is m i s p l a c e d . The l a w is b u i l t u p o n a p a t r i a r c h a l a g e n d a defined a n d c o n t r o l l e d by m a l e s a n d does not i n c l u d e a female perspective (Smart, 1989, C a i n , 1986, S n i d e r , 1990). C a r o l S m a r t i n " F e m i n i s m a n d the Power of Law" (Routledge, 1989) m a k e s a c o n v i n c i n g a r g u m e n t t h a t there is s i m p l y no place for w o m e n ' s realities w i t h i n the d i s c o u r s e of law. We m u s t accept the law's t e r m s of reference i n order to be recognized a n d these terms of reference do not allow for w o m e n ' s experience to be h e a r d or u n d e r s t o o d .  She cites as one  example the law's consistent failure to recognize w o m e n ' s experience of a b u s e a n d s e x u a l a s s a u l t as inevitable i n a c u l t u r e e m b e d d e d i n p h a l l o c e n t r i s m , "a concept that i m p l i e s a c u l t u r e w h i c h i s s t r u c t u r e d to meet the needs of the male imperative" (Smart, 1989, 26).  23  S m a r t further argues that the law's i n a b i l i t y to hear feminist c o n c e r n s i n a w a y invalidates t h e m as c o n c e r n s at a l l (Smart, 1989). T h i s d i s q u a l i f y i n g of w o m e n ' s view a n d experience h a s c h a r a c t e r i z e d the f o u n d a t i o n s of m o s t theoretical d i s c o u r s e s , not j u s t the law. S h e suggests t h a t the l a w is only as powerful as the a u t h o r i t y we a c c o r d it. If we stress the powerlessness of f e m i n i s m i n the face of legal m e t h o d a n d law, we a d d to its power. F e m i n i s m m u s t c o n t i n u e to challenge the power of l a w to define w o m e n i n law's terms (Smart, 1989).  S h e also d i s c u s s e s w h a t she states is the p r o b l e m of rights. T h o u g h she a c k n o w l e d g e s there have been benefits from the struggle for r i g h t s i n i m p r o v i n g w o m e n ' s rights i n society, she p o i n t s o u t the s h o r t c o m i n g s . A s the l a w n o w provides w o m e n w i t h formal legal rights e q u a l to m e n , the fight for rights i n the year 2 0 0 0 h a s become one for 'special rights', as i n the right to choose a n a b o r t i o n . T h i s i d e a of 'special r i g h t s ' h a s been the source of h o s t i l i t y because it is seen by some as more t h a n e q u a l rights; they are specific to only w o m e n (Smart, 1989).  The a p p e a l of rights i s t h a t they are seen as protection of the w e a k against the strong. In the case of a b o r t i o n it m a y not p l a y o u t t h a t way. Here, the l a w m a y a c c o r d rights to a b o r t i o n b u t if the state does not f u n d a b o r t i o n c l i n i c s or protect t h e m from violent protestors, it i s a n e m p t y right (Smart, 1989). T h i s is one r e a s o n S m a r t c a u t i o n s against r e l y i n g too heavily o n the law. She suggests there is a need to find a n alternative to the legal reality of the state, a separate feminist reality w h i c h  24  a c c u r a t e l y reflects women's reality a n d is more able to meet w o m e n ' s needs.  T h e a b o r t i o n i s s u e has been debated 'ad i n f i n i t u m ' . There are those t h a t state t h a t there is n o t h i n g more to say about the i s s u e . A s Professor S t e p h e n C a r t e r of Yale L a w S c h o o l states, "As e a c h n e w article or b o o k comes out, one is left w i t h the dreadful a n d yet u n a v o i d a b l e sense t h a t everything h a s been said....not o n l y that, b u t m o s t of it w a s s a i d ten y e a r s ago....as eyes glaze over, it often h a s seemed that d u r i n g the p a s t two decades that o n l y the n a m e s of the a u t h o r s w h o offer the a r g u m e n t s have c h a n g e d " (Graber, 1996, 162). W h a t is t h i s debate really about: the definition of a b o r t i o n , the time h u m a n life begins, the time of a n i m a t i o n or the m o r a l i t y of a b o r t i o n ? Is it a b o u t h u m a n rights, the role of government, c h a n g i n g roles of the family a n d w o m e n ? It is a b o u t a l l of these t h i n g s b u t s e l d o m is t h i s recognized. The two sides i n t h i s debate reduce the i s s u e s to two; w h e n life begins a n d w o m e n ' s reproductive rights. The majority of the literature r e g a r d i n g the a b o r t i o n i s s u e h a s focussed o n three major areas; moral/philosophical issues, legal/constitutional issues a n d medical a r g u m e n t s a b o u t the p s y c h o l o g i c a l / p h y s i c a l effects of a b o r t i o n .  In  recent years there have been studies c o n d u c t e d o n a n t i a b o r t i o n violence.  M o r a l / P h i l o s o p h i c a l Issues  B e c a u s e a b o r t i o n s t a n d s at the j u n c t u r e of a n u m b e r of v a l u e s y s t e m s (sex, r e p r o d u c t i o n , gender, family, e c o n o m i c s , law) t h a t are loosely  integrated a n d j o u s t i n g w i t h e a c h other for d o m i n a n c e , it is h a r d to predict the p o s i t i o n o n a b o r t i o n from a single set of v a l u e s (FigueiraM c D o n o u g h 8B S a r r i , 1997). Religions have h i s t o r i c a l l y f u n c t i o n e d as m e c h a n i s m s to integrate value systems a n d nowhere is t h i s more evident t h a n w i t h the i s s u e of a b o r t i o n . The major religion t h a t h a s a u n i f i e d p o s i t i o n o n the subject of a b o r t i o n is the C a t h o l i c C h u r c h , w h i c h is s t a u n c h l y a n t i abortion; "The more dogmatic the religion, the more effective it is i n p r o d u c i n g a n integrated value system. T h i s is done b y p r o d u c i n g a n apocalyptic framework w h i c h , since it is b e y o n d r a t i o n a l a n a l y s i s , validates m o r a l a b s o l u t i s m " ( F i g u e i r a - M c D o n o u g h 8B S a r r i , 1987, 55). T h i s framework characterizes the C a t h o l i c C h u r c h w h i c h is a powerful force i n the w o r l d today a n d a c e n t r a l figure i n the a b o r t i o n debate. K r i s t i n L u k e r i n her h i s t o r i c a l review of the taboo of a b o r t i o n i n the U n i t e d States noted that it w a s only i n the 1960's w h e n the w o m e n ' s m o v e m e n t re-emerged a n d began agitating for reproductive rights t h a t a r g u m e n t s a b o u t a b o r t i o n came to be formulated i n t e r m s of c o m p e t i n g rights; the rights of the 'emancipated' w o m a n a n d of the u n b o r n c h i l d ( F i g u e i r a - M c D o n o u g h 8B S a r r i , 1987). P e t c h e s k y e x a m i n e d a r g u m e n t s between a n t i - a b o r t i o n a n d pro-choice groups, m a d e u p p r e d o m i n a n t l y of w o m e n a n d c o n c l u d e d that the ethics of m a t e r n a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y (giving the u n b o r n c h i l d the right to be b o r n v e r s u s giving e a c h c h i l d b o r n the right to be loved a n d the m e a n s to develop to full potential) r a t h e r t h a n w o m e n ' s l i b e r a t i o n , is d o m i n a n t a m o n g w o m e n o n e a c h side of the  a r g u m e n t ( F i g u e i r a - M c D o n o u g h & S a r r i , 1987). In a n o t h e r s t u d y i n the U n i t e d States she f o u n d that resistance to change or fear of change characterizes a large p o r t i o n of the a n t i - a b o r t i o n 'right' w h o feel a b o r t i o n a n d its perceived 'feminist' c o n n e c t i o n pose a threat to the safe b o u n d a r i e s of their t r a d i t i o n a l p a t r i a r c h a l system. " A b o r t i o n h a s been t r a n s f o r m e d into a s y m b o l of s e x u a l p r o m i s c u i t y , family d i s i n t e g r a t i o n , e c o n o m i c r u i n a n d c o m m u n i s m " ( F i g u e i r a - M c D o n o u g h & S a r r i , 1987, 75).  J o s e p h i n a F i g u e i r a c o n d u c t e d a s t u d y i n the U n i t e d States o n o p i n i o n s of a b o r t i o n to test the following; 1.) that the t a k e n stance o n a b o r t i o n w i l l v a r y significantly by c e r t a i n d e m o g r a p h i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s s u c h as u r b a n i s m , i n c o m e a n d e d u c a t i o n a n d 2.) that conservative a t t i t u d e s i n r e l a t i o n to a variety of social i s s u e s w i l l be associated w i t h o p p o s i t i o n to a b o r t i o n . The findings indicate t h a t male supporters of a b o r t i o n c a n be d e s c r i b e d as n o n - r e l i g i o u s , u r b a n , educated a n d h o l d i n g 'liberal' o p i n i o n s . Those more favourable to the a n t i - a b o r t i o n p o s i t i o n tend to have the opposite c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . W o m e n were at b o t h extremes of the s p e c t r u m of the a b o r t i o n i s s u e w h o are religious a n d n o n r e l i g i o u s , m o r e or less e d u c a t e d a n d w i t h h u m a n i t a r i a n a n d t r a d i t i o n a l v a l u e s . T h e m o s t salient c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the male a n t i a b o r t i o n s u p p o r t e r s i s their c h u r c h involvement. H e r findings suggest that, i n the U . S. at least, c h u r c h e s p l a y a n i m p o r t a n t role i n perpetuating a b o r t i o n as m o r a l deviance a n d i n t e g r a t i n g t h i s definition into a conservative ideology b a s e d o n fear of change ( F i g u e i r a - M c D o n o u g h & S a r r i , 1987).  Legal/ Constitutional W h e n a b o r t i o n w a s legalized i n C a n a d a i n 1969 a n d i n the U n i t e d States i n 1973, it w a s c o n s i d e r e d by m a n y as the t u r n i n g point i n the legal debate a b o u t a b o r t i o n . It is believed, by some, to have j u m p started the feminist m o v e m e n t o u t of o b s c u r i t y a n d p u t the a b o r t i o n i s s u e into the p o l i t i c a l forefront. T h e q u e s t i o n c o n t i n u e s to be; is a b o r t i o n a f u n d a m e n t a l h u m a n or c o n s t i t u t i o n a l i s s u e ? T h o u g h t e c h n i c a l l y a b o r t i o n is legal, a b o r t i o n o n the b o o k s differs from a b o r t i o n l a w i n a c t i o n . Legal or not, access to a b o r t i o n s is not easily available to a l l w o m e n . A l l w o m e n s e e k i n g a b o r t i o n s are still at the m e r c y of v a r i o u s factors, t h o u g h w o m e n of privilege a l w a y s have a n easier time of it. A l e a d i n g w o r k o n a b o r t i o n practices observes t h a t t h r o u g h o u t the 2 0  t h  century; "depending o n where a w o m a n lives, o n the  a t t i t u d e s a n d practices of the w o m a n ' s p h y s i c i a n a n d h o s p i t a l , or o n w h o she is a n d w h o m she k n o w s , she m a y find it easy or difficult to o b t a i n a n a b o r t i o n regardless of h o w restrictive or permissive the l a w s are" (Graber, 1996, 41).  T h e l a w h a s been l o o k e d at to a n s w e r questions that m a n y argue c a n n o t a n d s h o u l d not be a n s w e r e d i n the legal arena. The q u e s t i o n s are; 1.) w h e n is a fetus a person?, 2.) w h a t c i r c u m s t a n c e s justify a n a b o r t i o n ? A n d 3.) w h o decides? F e m i n i s t s argue that the legal field is a b a s t i o n of a m a l e d o m i n a t e d , p a t r i a r c h a l s y s t e m t h a t h a s little or no u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the female experience a n d h a s no right interfering i n a p e r s o n a l , i n d i v i d u a l decision.  A n o t h e r significant fact is that statutory restrictions o n a b o r t i o n have, i n the past, p r o v e n to be unenforceable.  It o n l y succeeds i n forcing t h e m  ' u n d e r g r o u n d ' a n d forcing w o m e n , p a r t i c u l a r l y less affluent w o m e n , to s u b m i t to unsafe practices. H i s t o r y h a s s h o w n that y o u cannot, t h r o u g h legislation, prevent people from s e e k i n g w h a t they w a n t a n d need.  Kristin  L u k e r ' s s t u d y of a b o r t i o n policies c o n c l u d e d that; " i f a r e a s o n a b l y p l a u s i b l e m e d i c a l i n d i c a t i o n for a b o r t i o n c o u l d be presented to a s y m p a t h e t i c p h y s i c i a n , n e i t h e r the m e d i c a l society n o r a n y other statutory a u t h o r i t y w a s l i k e l y to intervene" (Graber, 1996, 48). She went o n to c o n c l u d e from h i s t o r i c a l evidence, no matter w h a t the p a r t i c u l a r statutory definition of a lawful a b o r t i o n , p h y s i c i a n s agreed that; " i f the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the p r a c t i t i o n e r a n d the c o n d i t i o n s of practice were 'reputable' t h e n the a b o r t i o n w a s justifiable" (Graber, 1996, 49).  M e d i c a l / P s y c h o l o g i c a l Issues A s noted previously, the m e d i c a l profession i n m a n y w a y s h a s s u p p o r t e d a c c e s s to a b o r t i o n b u t only i n cases 'they' deem j u s t i f i a b l e . T h i s relates a g a i n to the male d o m i n a t e d power s t r u c t u r e s t h a t define or a t t e m p t to define a n d c o n t r o l a l l aspects of society. The m e d i c a l profession, as the legal profession, wields t r e m e n d o u s power i n o u r society, t h u s t r e m e n d o u s power over w o m e n a n d the issue of access to a b o r t i o n . The w i e l d i n g of t h i s power is m o s t evident i n that doctors determine w h e n a b o r t i o n s are m e d i c a l l y safe a n d w h e n they are psychologically safe or not.  29  There h a s been a fairly pervasive a s s u m p t i o n i n the m e d i c a l profession t h a t w o m e n s e e k i n g abortions were suffering from some e m o t i o n a l d i s t u r b a n c e . T h i s w a s b a s e d , i n part, o n the m y t h t h a t m o s t w o m e n ' s m a i n p u r p o s e i n life w a s to bear c h i l d r e n .  B u t , more i m p o r t a n t l y , it is believed t h a t i f they  h a d to have a n a b o r t i o n they w o u l d t h e n suffer some negative p s y c h o l o g i c a l after effects a n d / o r depression. There is no c o n c l u s i v e evidence to s u p p o r t t h i s . S i m o n a n d S e n t u r i a e x a m i n e d 2 7 b o o k s a n d articles r e p r e s e n t i n g r e s e a r c h a n d c l i n i c a l literature a r o u n d the issue from 1935 - 1 9 6 4 a n d their c o n c l u s i o n s were: "It is sobering to observe the ease w i t h w h i c h reports c a n be e m b e d d e d i n the literature, quoted, a n d re-quoted m a n y times w i t h o u t c o n s i d e r a t i o n for the d a t a i n the o r i g i n a l paper. Deeply h e l d p e r s o n a l c o n v i c t i o n s frequently seem to o u t w e i g h the i m p o r t a n c e of the data, especially w h e n c o n c l u s i o n s are d r a w n . In the papers reviewed, the findings a n d c o n c l u s i o n s range from the suggestions t h a t p s y c h i a t r i c i l l n e s s a l m o s t always is the outcome of therapeutic a b o r t i o n to its v i r t u a l absence as a post a b o r t i o n c o m p l i c a t i o n " ( H y m a n , S a r v i s & B o n a r , 1987, 9).  T h o u g h the literature quoted is dated, it reflects the power of the m e d i c a l profession to shape beliefs, as well as the power of the p u b l i s h e d w o r d . W h a t is not c o n s i d e r e d here is the e m o t i o n a l effect of b r e a k i n g the l a w . P r i o r to a b o r t i o n b e i n g legalized i n N o r t h A m e r i c a t h i s w o u l d have been a significant factor. A s well, c u r r e n t studies indicate t h a t t h o u g h h a v i n g a n a b o r t i o n is not a n easy d e c i s i o n for m o s t w o m e n , not a l l w o m e n suffer psychologically or emotionally over abortion. M a n y have no regrets a b o u t  30  the a b o r t i o n , more often they regret the c i r c u m s t a n c e s t h a t l e d to the d e c i s i o n h a v i n g to be made ( M c C a i n , 1994).  R u s s i a offers a n interesting c o m p a r i s o n i n their a p p r o a c h to a b o r t i o n . P r i o r to the R u s s i a n R e v o l u t i o n i n 1917, abortions were s t r i c t l y forbidden. In 1920 free abortions were available a p p a r e n t l y reflecting the belief i n female equality h e l d b y the revolutionaries. S t a l i n a g a i n made a b o r t i o n s illegal except if the w o m a n ' s h e a l t h w a s at r i s k . T h i s w a s i n response to the i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n the c o u n t r y w a s experiencing a n d the need for w o r k e r s . In 1955 after S t a l i n d i e d the e m p h a s i s shifted b a c k to female e q u a l i t y a n d a b o r t i o n w a s a g a i n legal. The focus i n R u s s i a is o n t e r m i n a t i o n of p r e g n a n c y not prevention t h r o u g h c o n t r a c e p t i o n . A conservative estimate is t h a t 5 5 % of pregnancies are t e r m i n a t e d b y a b o r t i o n . It i s the h i g h e s t rate of a n y c o u n t r y i n the w o r l d . It is not u n c o m m o n for a R u s s i a n w o m a n to have 4 or 5 abortions; some have as m a n y as 20 (Kingston W o m e n ' s C e n t r e , 1995). G i v e n t h i s accepting attitude towards a b o r t i o n u n d o u b t e d l y a l l o w s for less p s y c h o l o g i c a l t r a u m a over the d e c i s i o n to o b t a i n one.  There have been some studies done regarding the i m p a c t of a n t i - a b o r t i o n violence o n w o m e n seeking abortions. O n e s u c h s t u d y focussed o n the effects of a n t i - a b o r t i o n demonstrators o n w o m e n ' s p s y c h o l o g i c a l r e s p o n s e s to a b o r t i o n . T h e results suggest that the negative social i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h strangers (anti-abortion demonstrators) c a n generate distress a n d d e p r e s s i o n (Cozzarelli 8B Major, 1994).  31  The Legacy of Violence In recent years, the F e m i n i s t Majority F o u n d a t i o n h a s been s t u d y i n g the i s s u e of the violence of the a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction towards a b o r t i o n c l i n i c s i n the U n i t e d States. O n e 1998 s t u d y m e a s u r e d the violence o c c u r r i n g a n d the i m p l i c a t i o n s t h i s h a s for clinic operations. The survey is a c o m p r e h e n s i v e s t u d y of a n t i - a b o r t i o n violence directed at c l i n i c s , patients a n d h e a l t h care w o r k e r s i n the U n i t e d States. T h e key findings i n d i c a t e the following: a) a l m o s t one quarter of c l i n i c s faced severe violence i n 1998 (severe violence b e i n g d e a t h threats, s t a l k i n g , b o m b threats, b o m b i n g s . . . ) ; b) a n t i - a b o r t i o n a t t a c k s became more c o n c e n t r a t e d o n a s m a l l e r n u m b e r of c l i n i c s ; the m o s t intense violence is experienced by free s t a n d i n g c l i n i c s ; c) b o m b threats a n d v a n d a l i s m r e m a i n e d the m o s t c o m m o n type of violence reported; d) the percentage of c l i n i c s r e p o r t i n g staff resignations as r e s u l t of a n t i a b o r t i o n violence d e c l i n e d (though it does fluctuate y e a r to year); e) one f o u r t h of c l i n i c s were protected b y buffer zones i n 1998; f)  fewer c l i n i c s reported violations of the F r e e d o m of A c c e s s to C l i n i c E n t r a n c e s A c t (FACE) to federal l a w enforcement officers d u r i n g the first seven m o n t h s of 1998 t h a n ever before;  g) c l i n i c s are less likely to t u r n to the c o u r t s for help t h a n i n p r e v i o u s years;  32  h) l o c a l , state a n d federal l a w enforcement response to c l i n i c violence i m p r o v e d i n 1998 w h i c h helped keep violence levels d o w n .  T h e violence of the a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction is a n e x p r e s s i o n of h a t r e d a n d anger towards w o m e n ; t h u s it is necessary to look at the larger i s s u e of violence against w o m e n . The c a u s e s of violence are n u m e r o u s , b u t one c o m m o n a l i t y a m o n g s t m a n y c u l t u r e s is the gendered n a t u r e of violence ( F r e n c h , 1992, B r o w n m i l l e r , 1984, F a l u d i , 1991, C r a w f o r d , 1992). G e n e r a l l y , the perpetrators of a l l types of violence are male. T h e t r a d i t i o n a l a n a l y s i s of violence often starts from the a s s u m p t i o n t h a t it i s a b e r r a n t , deviant behavior perpetrated by one i n d i v i d u a l against a n o t h e r (Kelly, 1996. V i o l e n c e against w o m e n c a n take m a n y forms, the m o s t c o m m o n b e i n g p h y s i c a l a n d s e x u a l a s s a u l t ( C a n a d i a n C r i m i n a l C o d e , 1998).  V i o l e n c e , of course, is not a new p h e n o m e n a .  F e m i n i s t a u t h o r s led the w a y  i n p r e s e n t i n g the s t r u c t u r e s a n d consequences of violence ( B r o w n m i l l e r , 1984, C r a w f o r d , 1992, F r e n c h , 1992, S t a n k o 8s N e w b u r n , 1994). In r e l a t i o n to the a b o r t i o n i s s u e , parallels have been d r a w n to the violence perpetrated o n religious g r o u n d s that have been w i t h u s for centuries.  Comparisons  c a n also be d r a w n to the violence perpetrated against w o m e n i n m a n y forms i n N o r t h A m e r i c a n society, i n p a r t i c u l a r theories of rape a n d d o m e s t i c violence. These are p r e d o m i n a n t l y d i s c u s s e d i n t e r m s of p o w e r a n d c o n t r o l , of m e n over w o m e n (Brownmiller, 1984, C r a w f o r d , 1992, S t a n k o a n d N e w b u r n , 1994, W a l k e r , 1979). One m i l l i o n w o m e n i n C a n a d a are a b u s e d  p h y s i c a l l y b y their h u s b a n d s or intimate p a r t n e r s e a c h year; 6 2 % of w o m e n m u r d e r e d i n C a n a d a die as a result of wife a s s a u l t (Crawford, 1992, Light, 1992) . It c a n be argued that m e n beat their wives b e c a u s e they are p e r m i t t e d to do so by a system t h a t does not stop t h e m . It c a n also be a r g u e d t h a t the a n t i - a b o r t i o n extremists i n t i m i d a t e , t h r e a t e n a n d m u r d e r b e c a u s e they are also, i n essence, permitted to do so b y a s y s t e m t h a t does not c o n s i s t e n t l y enforce laws against s u c h violence. V i o l e n c e r e m i n d s u s t h a t we c a n n o t c o n t r o l a l l aspects of o u r environment. It m a k e s u s feel v u l n e r a b l e a n d u l t i m a t e l y i n s e c u r e . Violence i s a threat to u s a l l a n d t h a t i s w h y it is generally defined as a n offense against society.  There are v a r i o u s definitions of violence. A general definition of violence is '....an exertion of p h y s i c a l force so as to injur'...or '....intense, t u r b u l e n t or furious a n d often destructive a c t i o n or force' (Websters D i c t i o n a r y , 1998). A n o t h e r definition of violence is that of w o r k place violence a n d is d e s c r i b e d as, '...the attempted, threatened or a c t u a l c o n d u c t of a p e r s o n t h a t c a u s e s or i s likely to c a u s e injury, a n d i n c l u d e s a n y t h r e a t e n i n g s t a t e m e n t or behavior t h a t gives a w o r k e r reasonable cause to believe t h a t the w o r k e r is at the r i s k of i n j u r y ' ( S a s k a t c h e w a n H e a l t h a n d Safety, 1998).  T h e origins of violence against w o m e n i n N o r t h A m e r i c a are e m b e d d e d i n c u l t u r a l teachings that promote m e n to d o m i n a t e . To m a i n t a i n a m a l e d o m i n a n t s y s t e m y o u have to teach m e n to d o m i n a t e . T h i s , i n t u r n , leads m e n to believe that to dominate, one h a s to c o n t r o l , w h i c h m a k e s c o n t r o l a  p a r t of m a s c u l i n i t y a n d t h u s the cycle begins. O n the other side, w o m e n are e n c o u r a g e d to be passive; passivity is rewarded as feminine. T h u s the cycle c o n t i n u e s (Steinem, 1999). A s violence against w o m e n h a s become more visible it h a s become less acceptable. T h i s has not n e c e s s a r i l y d i m i n i s h e d the violence b u t it h a s b e g u n to change attitudes, w h i c h is progress of a kind.  W o m e n w h o step outside of the p r e s c r i b e d role a n d try to take c o n t r o l of their lives, their bodies, their reproductive s y s t e m face o p p o s i t i o n . W o m e n w h o try to be a u t o n o m o u s a n d self d e t e r m i n i n g face m a n y battles; they m a y lose t h e i r j o b or c u s t o d y of their c h i l d . If they are beaten they are often s a i d to have i n c i t e d it a n d if they are r a p e d they are often s a i d to have i n v i t e d it.  If y o u have two g r o u p s of people a n d y o u say one is inferior to the other, a n d t h i s is a lie, t h e n one w a y to m a i n t a i n the lie is t h r o u g h violence or threat of violence.  T h i s o c c u r s w i t h respect to gender, s e x u a l preference,  race a n d religion. Where m e n a n d w o m e n come together m o s t i n t i m a t e l y , i n sexuality, c a n become infused w i t h violence. We have to disentangle sexuality, i n t i m a c y a n d violence (Steinem, 1999, C r a w f o r d , 1992).  Chapter Four - Methodology  T h i s qualitative s t u d y e x a m i n e d the i m p a c t of a n t i - a b o r t i o n violence or the threat of violence o n a b o r t i o n c l i n i c staff. Qualitative r e s e a r c h strives to  35  e n s u r e t h a t theories developed have a b a s i s i n peoples' lived experiences. The focus of this a p p r o a c h is to o b t a i n a d e s c r i p t i o n of h o w a p r o b l e m or s i t u a t i o n i s experienced b y the people w h o live it. Often t h i s i n c l u d e s a s e a r c h for u n d e r l y i n g themes or patterns w h i c h emerge d u r i n g the r e s e a r c h process. Q u a l i t a t i v e methodologies are c o n c e r n e d w i t h the i n v o l v e m e n t of p a r t i c i p a n t s a n d strive to place researchers a n d those p r o v i d i n g i n f o r m a t i o n a n d d a t a o n a n e q u a l plane (Centre for R e s e a r c h o n V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t W o m e n a n d C h i l d r e n , 1998). T h i s m e t h o d fits well w i t h the feminist a p p r o a c h u s e d i n t h i s study.  The d a t a for t h i s s t u d y was collected at a s t a n d alone c l i n i c i n a large N o r t h A m e r i c a n u r b a n setting where a p p r o x i m a t e l y 2 , 5 0 0 a b o r t i o n s are p r o v i d e d e a c h year. A s t a n d alone c l i n i c w a s c h o s e n because it is more easily identified i n the c o m m u n i t y t h a n m u l t i - s e r v i c e c l i n i c s i n h o s p i t a l s or large c l i n i c s i n office b u i l d i n g s , t h u s it is more often the target of protestors.  A request for volunteers to participate w a s posted at the c l i n i c a n d four c l i n i c w o r k e r s volunteered to be interviewed. T h e interviews were c o n d u c t e d at the c l i n i c ; three of t h e m a p p r o x i m a t e l y 4 5 m i n u t e s i n d u r a t i o n a n d one 2 0 m i n u t e s . Two p a r t i c i p a n t s were client a d m i n i s t r a t o r s , aged 3 8 a n d 2 9 , h a n d l i n g a d m i n i s t r a t i v e aspects of the c l i n i c , one w a s a c o m m u n i c a t i o n s a d m i n i s t r a t o r , aged 3 2 , h a n d l i n g i n t a k e a n d m e d i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n r e g a r d i n g clients a n d one w a s a c o u n s e l l o r , aged 4 9 , p r o v i d i n g c o u n s e l l i n g for those  36  s e e k i n g a n a b o r t i o n . A l l were employed full time at the c l i n i c a n d h a d been e m p l o y e d there from one year to three a n d one h a l f years.  A s e m i s t r u c t u r e d a p p r o a c h w a s c h o s e n over other interview m e t h o d s for the following reasons. a) T h i s m e t h o d incorporates the feminist p r i n c i p l e s w h i c h g u i d e d t h i s research. "The u s e of s e m i s t r u c t u r e d interviews h a s become the p r i n c i p l e m e a n s by w h i c h feminists have sought to achieve the active involvement of their r e s p o n d e n t s i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n of d a t a a b o u t t h e i r lives" (Reinharz, 1992). b) T h i s m e t h o d allowed a more free i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the interviewee so a n e q u a l exchange c o u l d o c c u r . In k e e p i n g w i t h the feminist a p p r o a c h , t h i s o p e n ended, free i n t e r a c t i o n is p a r t i c u l a r l y s u i t e d to female researchers; " a s k i n g people w h a t they t h i n k a n d feel is a n activity females are socialized to perform, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n W e s t e r n society" (Reinharz, 1992). It also allows those interviewed more latitude to express a n d e x p l a i n w h i c h provides richer, more complete data, or at least it h a s the p o t e n t i a l to do so. c) It reflects a n a p p r o a c h that is respectful of the interviewees' experience a n d h o w she needs to convey t h i s experience. It also s h a r e s the c o n t r o l of the interview between researcher a n d interviewee a n d h o w the story is expressed. d) T h i s w a s a potentially sensitive i s s u e to explore i n t h a t it w a s t o u c h i n g o n very p e r s o n a l fears a n d i s s u e s as well as h i g h l y c h a r g e d p o l i t i c a l a n d  37  s o c i a l i s s u e s . It w a s i m p o r t a n t to be able to d i s c u s s it i n a m a n n e r t h a t w a s the least t h r e a t e n i n g to the interviewees, w h i c h t h i s m e t h o d a l l o w e d .  The q u e s t i o n a s k e d of e a c h p a r t i c i p a n t was: "Tell me a b o u t y o u r experience w o r k i n g at the c l i n i c a n d h o w the violence of the a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction t o w a r d s a b o r t i o n s c l i n i c s a n d providers h a s i m p a c t e d o n y o u ? " T w o a d d i t i o n a l q u e s t i o n s or p r o m p t s were u t i l i z e d : "What do y o u see i n the future for abortions c l i n i c s ? " a n d "Do y o u have a n y r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s r e g a r d i n g t h i s violence?"  In k e e p i n g w i t h the feminist a p p r o a c h , it w a s e m p h a s i z e d to e a c h p a r t i c i p a n t t h a t I w a n t e d t h e m to 'tell their story' a n d t h a t the i n t e r v i e w s h o u l d u n f o l d like a c o n v e r s a t i o n between u s . F o r the m o s t p a r t t h i s d i d occur.  A narrative a n a l y s i s w a s u s e d to examine the data. A narrative c a n be d e s c r i b e d as a "story of a sequence of events that h a s significance for the n a r r a t o r a n d h e r audience" (Denzin, 1989, 34).  I l o o k e d for t h e m e s a s to  h o w a n d w h y p a r t i c i p a n t s told their stories. T h i s c a n provide i n s i g h t into h o w it is i m p a c t i n g o n their lives.  E a c h interview t r a n s c r i p t was reviewed a n d themes t h a t emerged were noted. T h e m e s from e a c h interview were aligned i n c o l u m n s o n one page a n d organized a c c o r d i n g to s i m i l a r i t i e s a n d frequency of stated themes.  For  example, i n e a c h interview, statements of fear were repeatedly expressed b y e a c h p a r t i c i p a n t . These expressions took the form of b e i n g followed to a n d from w o r k , fear for their o w n safety a n d that of their families' a n d fear of a violent i n c i d e n t o c c u r r i n g . Repeated themes expressed b y a l l p a r t i c i p a n t s were noted as significant to address. T h i s is not to suggest t h a t frequency n e c e s s a r i l y equals significance, b u t it appears logical to a d d r e s s these as i m p a c t i n g o n the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' lives.  Chapter Five - Research Findings and Implications  The major themes t h a t emerged from t h i s s t u d y were fear, anger a n d feelings of powerlessness a n d l a c k of control; the p r e d o m i n a n t element b e i n g fear, the c o n s t a n t fear of violence. The anger is a direct r e s u l t of the sense of b e i n g powerless to stop the violence a n d the r e s u l t i n g fear t h a t infuses their lives. The clinic w o r k e r s fear for their o w n p h y s i c a l safety, t h a t of t h e i r families, their colleagues a n d the people they serve. T h e fear a n d anger are closely l i n k e d to the l a c k of s u p p o r t of the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e s y s t e m (police a n d courts) t h a t a l l four w o m e n expressed. G i v e n the legacy of violence from the a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction a n d i n light of recent shootings a n d m u r d e r of a b o r t i o n providers, t h i s fear a n d anger is j u s t i f i e d . T h i s is also s u p p o r t e d b y statistics kept by the N a t i o n a l A b o r t i o n F e d e r a t i o n , a n A m e r i c a n o r g a n i z a t i o n t h a t t r a c k s i n c i d e n t s perpetrated a g a i n s t a b o r t i o n providers i n the U . S . a n d C a n a d a , w h i c h indicate a n increase i n violent acts a g a i n s t a b o r t i o n providers by a n t i - a b o r t i o n extremists i n recent y e a r s  (National A b o r t i o n F e d e r a t i o n , 1998). A n o t h e r e q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t factor t h a t emerged w a s the o v e r r i d i n g c o m m i t m e n t of these w o m e n to c o n t i n u e to provide t h i s service, i n spite of the ever present threat.  A s w o m e n , a l l four p a r t i c i p a n t s were familiar w i t h o p p r e s s i o n i n some form a n d of the need to be ever vigilant a b o u t the potential of m a l e violence i n general. B u t these w o r k e r s c a r r y a n a d d e d weight, the toll of w h i c h is u n k n o w n , as yet. T h e y are open targets for a n t i - a b o r t i o n extremists. T h e fear a n d vigilance is not restricted to w h e n they are at w o r k at the c l i n i c . The threat permeates every aspect of their lives, 24 h o u r s a day. T h e y m a y be s t a l k e d , m a y have their car license n u m b e r s u s e d to trace t h e m to their h o m e s (which is w h y they n o w register their cars to the clinic), or be p o t e n t i a l targets t h r o u g h the internet: The N u r e m b e r g files....which is a web site for people to list a b o r t i o n providers a n d c l i n i c w o r k e r s whose n a m e s , identities, family's n a m e s , spouses, c h i l d r e n , everything w o u l d be posted o n the internet a n d it's a h i t list. It's very clearly a n i n v i t a t i o n for violence. These are people t h a t advocate m u r d e r of a b o r t i o n p r o v i d e r s ' (Interviewee #1).  The oppressive n a t u r e of the threat of violence is a destructive force. " B u t there are times w h e n I have extreme anxiety a t t a c k s . . . i n the m i d d l e of the night....after t h i n g s like D r . R o m a l i s b e i n g shot..." (Interviewee #2). It c a n be c o m p a r e d to p s y c h o l o g i c a l t r a u m a often associated w i t h post t r a u m a t i c stress disorder. A t r a u m a t i c event generally involves threats to life or a close e n c o u n t e r w i t h violence or death. The c o m m o n d e n o m i n a t o r of p s y c h o l o g i c a l t r a u m a is a feeling of "intense fear, h e l p l e s s n e s s , l o s s of c o n t r o l a n d threat of a n n i h i l a t i o n " (Herman, 1992, 3). 40  J u d i t h H e r m a n i n her book, T r a u m a a n d Recovery (1992, B a s i c Books) m a k e s the c o m p a r i s o n between the t r a u m a suffered b y veterans of w a r a n d v i c t i m s of d o m e s t i c violence, a n d finds that v i c t i m s of d o m e s t i c violence suffer more. T h i s is essentially because of a l a c k of s u p p o r t w h i c h r e s u l t s i n worse t r a u m a w h i c h is l o n g l a s t i n g . The t r a u m a experienced b y c l i n i c w o r k e r s is at least c o m p a r a b l e as it is ever present a n d there is no e n d i n sight. O n e of the w o r k e r s interviewed equated the e n v i r o n m e n t as like w o r k i n g i n a Svar zone' a n d another stated: "It's like a m i n i h o l o c a u s t . . . i n d o o r s a n d out ...that's w h a t I u s u a l l y feel, a n d I'm sure t h a t it's penetrated m y spirituality, it's penetrated m y heart" (Interviewee #4).  The r e s p o n d e n t s a l l spoke of the fear t h a t is part of their lives n o w because of where they w o r k ; It's not like a n o t h e r j o b w h e r e . . . . y o u c a n leave a n d forget a b o u t it...because you're always aware of the fact t h a t y o u m i g h t be s t a l k e d , someone m i g h t be following y o u a n d they m i g h t k n o w where y o u live" (Interviewee #2); or, I w a s the last one to leave the c l i n i c . . . h e w a s w a i t i n g outside a n d he got o n the b u s w i t h me a n d I w a s terrified...the b u s w a s empty...he d i d n ' t take h i s eyes off me (Interviewee #2).  T h i s fear also i n h i b i t s w h a t they do a n d where they go: He u s e d to a l w a y s get o n the b u s at F i r s t Street a n d t h e n e v e n t u a l l y I'd see h i m at S e c o n d Street a n d it stayed t h a t w a y for a w h i l e . T h e n he w a s o n the t r a i n , t h e n he w a s at the M a i n station, t h e n he w a s at the T h i r d station, t h e n he w a s at the F o u r t h station...it o c c u r r e d to me t h a t he w a s following me b a c k w a r d s . . . t h e n one d a y I t h o u g h t , t h i n g s are different today, m a y b e there's s o m e t h i n g going o n t h a t I don't k n o w a b o u t a n d got so frightened that I a c t u a l l y got off the b u s ...(Interviewee #2); a n d , 41  "I'm t a k i n g h a l f a n h o u r , even longer, to get to w o r k b e c a u s e I have to a v o i d a n d always be vigilant. I'm o n the l o o k o u t , I'm o n the t r a i n like, is he there?...is he over there? G e t t i n g off the b u s , i s there someone b e h i n d m e ? (Interviewee #4).  T h e i m p l i c a t i o n s for the restrictions o n one's life go further: I don't have a phone i n m y n a m e . N o t h i n g is i n m y n a m e a n d w h e n I'm o u t socially I can't t a l k about where I w o r k M y whole day, d a i l y existence, is a vigilance about not d i s c l o s i n g more t h a n I s h o u l d a b o u t myself (Interviewee #3). B e i n g u n a b l e to have a phone or the h y d r o i n y o u r n a m e a n d m a n y of the o r d i n a r y t h i n g s m a n y of u s take for granted is more t h a n i n c o n v e n i e n t ; it c a n be p r o b l e m a t i c for t h i n g s like a p p l y i n g for credit or a p a s s p o r t .  T h e threat of violence or h a r m o c c u r r i n g is p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y d a m a g i n g a n d fuels the fear. These w o r k e r s have to c o n s i d e r t h a t even the s i m p l e s t or m o s t n o r m a l of t a s k s is potentially sinister or dangerous: I o p e n u p the c l i n i c i n the m o r n i n g . . . y o u get o u t of y o u r car, y o u m a k e sure t h a t you've l o c k e d everything, y o u p a r k i n a different place every d a y . . . y o u p a r k away from the c l i n i c a n d as y o u a p p r o a c h the c l i n i c y o u c h e c k o u t s i d e . . . y o u see i f there's a n y b o d y h a n g i n g a r o u n d , y o u see if there's a n y t h i n g different. We've recently started getting the paper delivered i n the m o r n i n g a n d I have to sort of n u d g e it to m a k e sure there's not a n i n c e n d i a r y device u n d e r it (Interviewee #l);and,  You're going to w o r k , y o u can't read a book, i n s t e a d o n the b u s you're l o o k i n g to see who's there, if y o u recognize someone w h o i s n ' t n o r m a l l y o n the b u s . . . w a l k i n g into the c l i n i c w i t h t h a t c a r p a r k e d across the street...what's t h a t m a n d o i n g i n the car, w h a t ' s he l o o k like...(Interviewee #4) T h e reality is t h a t there c o u l d be a b o m b u n d e r the paper or a m a n w i t h a g u n i n the car; the threat to their p e r s o n a l safety is very real.  42  T h e stress h a s far r e a c h i n g effects; We need to see a balance between h u m a n or civil rights a n d t h i s protection of w o m e n because the t h r e a t e n i n g , it h a s e n o r m o u s i m p a c t . . . w o m e n have q u i t their j o b s over the perceived threat" (Interviewee #4). There is also the potential for stress related p r o b l e m s to s p i l l over into ones' p e r s o n a l life c a u s i n g m a r i t a l a n d other family p r o b l e m s .  T h e w o r k e r s never k n o w w h a t protestors m a y do a n d w h a t someone they c a n n o t see m a y do: O p e r a t i o n Rescue w a s p a r k e d outside. They've got t h i s c a r covered i n a n t i - c h o i c e p r o p a g a n d a , really extreme stuff. T h i s guy's o u t there w i t h h i s anti-choice s h i r t o n a n d he's t a k i n g p i c t u r e s . . . p i c t u r e s of clients leaving their cars ...of their license plates (Interviewee #2); or, A l l the s m o k e r s outside feel v u l n e r a b l e . . . a c u r t a i n w o u l d move i n the h o u s e across the street a n d I'd feel there w a s a g u n p o i n t e d at me (Interviewee #4); a n d ,  Y o u w a l k t h r o u g h the m a l l w o n d e r i n g if anyone recognizes y o u . . . a n y time you're alone at night, like i n a p a r k i n g garage y o u t h i n k , w e l l , t h i s w o u l d be a good time to be h i t (Interviewee #1). A g a i n , t h i s s p e a k s to the restrictive a n d fearful existence t h a t m a n y c l i n i c w o r k e r s face. A s a w o m a n , one m u s t be ever c o n s c i o u s of p o t e n t i a l danger b u t m o s t do not live w i t h t h i s ever present fear for one's life.  The anger t h a t w o r k e r s feel stems from feeling helpless i n the face of the violence or threat of violence o c c u r r i n g a n d the l a c k of c o n t r o l they have over it  43  The really terrifying t h i n g is because you're not d e a l i n g w i t h reasonable people, you're not d e a l i n g w i t h a n y b o d y y o u c a n have a c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h . . . " (Interviewee #3); a n d , I u s e d to have n i g h t m a r e s a b o u t it...I don't k n o w i f y o u c a n get u s e d to it b u t maybe y o u c a n j u s t disengage from it because I f o u n d m y self d o i n g t h a t . . . . w h e n I'd see t h e m outside the c l i n i c . I still get k n o t s i n m y s t o m a c h . I still fee absolute rage that they're there..(Interviewee #1). The p r o b l e m s associated w i t h l i v i n g w i t h the stress a n d anger as these people do c a n cause p h y s i c a l a n d p s y c h o l o g i c a l p r o b l e m s w h i c h c a n r e s u l t i n i n c r e a s e d s i c k time a n d i n t e r p e r s o n a l difficulties.  O n e w o r k e r spoke of ' n o r m a l i z i n g ' the fear a n d danger: S o m e t i m e s we forget, we k i n d of n o r m a l i z e , forget t h a t t h i s is reality because n o t h i n g h a p p e n s for a period of t i m e . . . a n d t h i n g s r e m i n d m e t h a t ...someone c o u l d come i n here w i t h weapons...I j u s t k i n d of isolate it a n d don't t h i n k a b o u t it because I don't t h i n k I c o u l d come to w o r k i f I really dwelt o n it (Interviewee #3). A t t e m p t i n g to ' n o r m a l i z e ' the a b n o r m a l , t h o u g h a n u n d e r s t a n d a b l y p r a c t i c a l s o l u t i o n to a d i s t r e s s i n g s i t u a t i o n , c a n pose p r o b l e m s . W h e n c a r r i e d too far it c a n begin to color or w a r p h o w one sees the w o r l d . A s some police officers a n d c h i l d protection social w o r k e r s k n o w , frequently d e a l i n g w i t h c r i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n s c a n begin to distort h o w y o u see the w o r l d a n d the people i n it.  The i m p a c t extends to other aspects of their lives a n d a d d s to their feelings of v u l n e r a b i l i t y a n d loss of c o n t r o l : I'll stay at the clinic w o r k i n g late....maybe I'll be h a l f a n h o u r late a n d d i d n ' t c a l l . . . . H e ' s (her partner) c a l l i n g me a n d he's terrified . . . . a n d I really u n d e r e s t i m a t e d the i m p a c t it h a s o n h i m (Interviewee #2); or,  I w o r r y n o w for m y partner....if s o m e t h i n g h a p p e n e d to m y h u s b a n d I 44  don't k n o w h o w I w o u l d live w i t h that...I c a n i m a g i n e h o w doctors w i t h k i d s feel....and staff w i t h kids...people have been h a r a s s e d at h o m e a n d it's frightening (Interviewee #1). A g a i n , one c a n see the potential for m a r i t a l a n d family p r o b l e m s to arise as a r e s u l t of the fear, anger a n d stress.  A l l of the i s s u e s r a i s e d b y these w o m e n are l i n k e d to the l a c k of s u p p o r t of the law. Incidents of s t a l k i n g behavior by a n t i - a b o r t i o n protestors were m e n t i o n e d b y two of the r e s p o n d e n t s a n d they d i d not feel these i n c i d e n t s were treated s e r i o u s l y by police, if r e s p o n d e d to at a l l : Several of o u r staff have been s t a l k e d by a n older m a n . . . . w e c a l l the 'holy water man'....we went to the police several t i m e s . . . t h e y c o u l d have done s o m e t h i n g b u t they didn't...we don't feel t h a t we have as m u c h police protection as we s h o u l d have or as m u c h police i n tervention (Interviewee #1); a n d ,  ...the 'holy water man'...he w a s following me h o m e ...one d a y I got so frightened I got off the bus...(another day)...he followed m e u p to the c l i n i c . . . a n d we called the police a n d they m a d e a r e c o r d of it b u t they s a i d t h a t t h i s d i d n ' t constitute a n y sort of following or s t a l k i n g behavior...they didn' t take it s e r i o u s l y at all...(Interviewee #2).  There have been i n c i d e n t s of w o r k e r s being p h y s i c a l l y a c c o s t e d or a s s a u l t e d w h i c h were also not treated s e r i o u s l y by the police: There w a s a clinic w o r k e r t h a t h a d a c a m e r a s l a m m e d i n t o h e r face outside the c l i n i c . She h a d to record a violation of the i n j u n c t i o n because the police refused to a n d they told h e r t h a t the c l i n i c s h o u l d collect its o w n evidence (Interviewee #2).  A n o t h e r severe a s s a u l t i n c i d e n t against a clinic w o r k e r involved a m a n w h o h a d a n i n j u n c t i o n against h i m to stay away from the c l i n i c : I h a d borne w i t n e s s to a co-worker b e i n g k i c k e d . . . s c r e a m e d at, s p i t on...I stepped between them...I got p u s h e d . . . a n d he h a d a n 18 m o n t h  sentence where he c o u l d not be a n y where n e a r the c l i n i c . I t h i n k he spent two nights^in jail...(Interviewee #4).  T h e relative ineffectiveness of the law is a source of f r u s t r a t i o n to the c l i n i c workers: I j u s t w i s h we h a d better police protection a n d better l a w s a r o u n d it a n d t h a t the laws were enforceable a n d clearly u n d e r s t o o d b e c a u s e we have the 'bubble zone' n o w a n d it's a l m o s t unenforceable...! m e a n the police never or rarely arrest so they still w a l k t h r o u g h it a l l the time so it's k i n d of useless...(Interviewee #3).  O n e w o r k e r expressed a desire to see more severe penalties a n d c o n s i s t e n t enforcement of laws: I t h i n k society a n d the police have to take a real h a r d line w i t h these people a n d m a k e it really clear that absolutely no v i o l a t i o n s w i l l be tolerated...there w i l l be a heavy consequence for ...interfering w i t h a l e g a l / m e d i c a l service a n d it's not o k a y i n a n y f o r m . . . . a n d t h a t a n y t h i n g i n the form of w a t c h i n g , t a k i n g p i c t u r e s , following is a b s o l u t e l y p u n i s h a b l e (Interviewee #2).  There w a s also frustration w i t h h a v i n g to 'educate' police officers w h e n they r e s p o n d to i n c i d e n t s at the clinic: ...because every time a n e w police officer c o m e s y o u have to r e - e x p l a i n the whole s i t u a t i o n to t h e m , e x p l a i n why...people are scared. Lots of times they don't u n d e r s t a n d . . . e x p l a i n w h y h a v i n g protestors w a l k outside the c l i n i c is t h r e a t e n i n g to w o m e n . Y o u have to re-teach it every time a n d that's really frustrating a n d that's w h y y o u don't feel safe...and they're u s u a l l y always m e n , the police officers...(Interviewee #3).  There w a s a feeling expressed that some police officers let t h e i r p e r s o n a l beliefs influence their actions as officers a n d t h i s influences h o w they r e s p o n d to i n c i d e n t s at the clinic: T h e y seem to come i n here a n d w a n t to debate w h e t h e r ...abortion is good or bad...it's sort of u s or them...they a l w a y s seem to forget 46  t h a t i n fact it's legal... they're not t a l k i n g a b o u t w h e t h e r or not 'pot' is good or bad...they enforce t h a t l a w (Interviewee #1).  U n d e r l y i n g a l l of t h i s is the overriding sense that these w o m e n do not feel protected by a s y s t e m that professes to do so, a n d t h a t police officers do not u n d e r s t a n d n o r take s e r i o u s l y the threat of violence they are e x p e r i e n c i n g : A n o t h e r part of the whole t h i n g that's really f r u s t r a t i n g is d e a l i n g w i t h the police. B e c a u s e we don't feel very protected b y t h e m at a l l ...like once we h a d t h i s Sergaent...we h a d protestors o u t s i d e , we called the police a n d he came a n d . . . t a l k e d to u s a n d he w a s like, I don't u n d e r s t a n d . . . y o u guys s h o u l d j u s t get a l o n g . . a n d he started t a l k i n g a b o u t h o w he k n e w one of the a n t i - c h o i c e r s a n d he w a s s u c h a great guy...he w a s l i k e . . . y o u s h o u l d a l l get along, you're a l l nice people., it's like, you're s u p p o s e d to be o u r protection? (Interviewee 3).  The c l i n i c w o r k e r s also feel that the m i n i m i z i n g of the threat b y the police is c o n n e c t e d to the sense t h a t they as w o m e n are m i n i m i z e d a n d m a r g i n a l i z e d , specifically w i t h respect to protestors t a k i n g p i c t u r e s of w o m e n e n t e r i n g the c l i n i c a n d t a k i n g p i c t u r e s of the license n u m b e r s o n their cars: A n d w h e n we c a l l the police they say h o w do y o u k n o w he h a d film i n h i s c a m e r a ? W h a t ' s the message being sent there...it's totally e n c o u r a g i n g t h e m a n d that's got to stop (Interviewee #2); a n d , The p r o b l e m to me, is that...it's a r g u e d (by police a n d the C r o w n ) t h a t these m e n have not violated a n y l a w s . . . b u t t h r e a t e n i n g w o m e n is a violation...it h a s e n o r m o u s impact..(Interviewee #3).  O n e c l i n i c w o r k e r s u m m e d it u p well: If people j u s t saw it as a little bit more a b o u t the power of a w o m a n ' s life...just people to take it more s e r i o u s l y . . . l i k e j u d g e s , lawyers, like the police, government...so that w h e n people do protest they get arrested, they a c t u a l l y stay i n j a i l . . . they're not b a c k here the next d a y . . . l i k e it's t a k e n s e r i o u s l y a n d it's a threat to w o m e n a n d its not right to let these people j u s t w a n d e r a r o u n d (Interviewee #3).  47  These c l i n i c w o r k e r s experience serve to illustrate t h a t w o m e n are still l o o k i n g to the l a w to do w h a t we are c o n d i t i o n e d to believe the legal s y s t e m is there to do; to see t h a t we are a l l protected equally. B u t these expectations c a n n o t be met w i t h i n a b i a s e d system; a s y s t e m t h a t i s n o t c o n s t r u c t e d to equally value women's needs. It is s y s t e m i c a l l y flawed a n d we fall into the trap of believing e q u a l rights m e a n s equality o n every level. It is still necessary to challenge the l a w a n d h o w it is r e s p o n d i n g to violence against w o m e n a n d specifically the violence of the a n t i - a b o r t i o n m o v e m e n t . The four w o m e n interviewed were d i s t i n c t i n d i v i d u a l s , different i n appearance, age, b a c k g r o u n d a n d experience b u t one c o m m o n a l i t y w a s their c o m m i t m e n t to the services provided b y the c l i n i c . It is a t e s t i m o n y to the level of c o m m i t m e n t of these w o m e n that they c o n t i n u e to w o r k i n s u c h a n e n v i r o n m e n t of i m m i n e n t danger. T h e y a l l expressed t h a t the sense of e m p o w e r m e n t a n d p r o v i d i n g needed a n d appreciated service keeps t h e m committed: ..because I love w o r k i n g here. T h i s is the best place I've ever w o r k e d . I love the women...I feel like I'm d o i n g s o m e t h i n g really u s e f u l . I a m very p r o u d of w h a t I do but, at the same time, it's like you're not allowed to go a n d b r a g a b o u t that stuff... t h a t y o u w o r k i n a n a b o r t i o n c l i n i c . So, it's a really strange double s t a n d a r d to have to w o r k u n d e r (Interviewee #1); a n d ,  W o m e n , w h e n they leave... they're so grateful... not j u s t because they've been able to have a n a b o r t i o n . . . b u t b e i n g able to have a n a b o r t i o n i n the fashion they have. It's a very e m p o w e r i n g experience h e r e . . . a n d the people I w o r k with...I w o r k w i t h s t r o n g w o m e n . . . t h a t ' s w h y I'm here. The violence...it doesn't m a k e me more c o m m i t t e d , it m a k e s me more afraid to stay c o m m i t t e d b u t it doesn't change t h a t c o m m i t m e n t (Interviewee #2).  48  The w o r k e r s interviewed expressed c o n c e r n that b e c a u s e of s e c u r i t y i s s u e s the d r o p - i n service is difficult to m a i n t a i n . They provide d r o p i n p r e g n a n c y testing a n d a b o r t i o n c o u n s e l l i n g . T h e y feel strongly t h a t t h i s service is necessary i n order to provide easily accessible service to those t h a t need it. The cost of i n s t a l l i n g security systems a n d r e p a i r i n g damage done to c l i n i c p r e m i s e s by protestors c a n be significant. To this m u s t be a d d e d t h a t i n these times of fiscal restraint, less dollars are available to provide services for w h i c h the c l i n i c s are m a n d a t e d to provide. In spite of i n t i m i d a t i o n tactics u s e d by a n t i - a b o r t i o n protestors, the d e m a n d for a b o r t i o n s continues.  V i o l e n c e poses serious c o n c e r n s for society i n general a n d i n p a r t i c u l a r for those p e r f o r m i n g or seeking abortions.  Some of the potential i m p l i c a t i o n s  are: 1. d i m i n i s h e d access to legally s a n c t i o n e d service of a b o r t i o n as doctors a n d c l i n i c w o r k e r s refuse to w o r k i n this area b e c a u s e of the r i s k to their lives a n d the lives of their families; 2. the damage, p s y c h o l o g i c a l a n d p h y s i c a l , experienced by c l i n i c w o r k e r s as a r e s u l t of the violence a n d / o r threat of violence; 3. the potential for d i m i n i s h e d access to abortions to force w o m e n to resort to unsafe, d a n g e r o u s methods; 4. c o n t i n u i n g e s c a l a t i o n of the violence a n d m u r d e r s a n d ; 5. i n c r e a s i n g p o l a r i z a t i o n of t h i s debate i n h i b i t i n g the w o r k towards f i n d i n g 'common ground'. 49  G i v e n the ever i n c r e a s i n g violence associated w i t h t h i s i s s u e , policy m a k e r s a n d p o l i t i c i a n s need to address the l a c k of enforcement of l a w s a r o u n d c l i n i c violence. The violence h a s t a k e n t h i s issue outside the r e a l m of the p e r s o n a l a n d l a n d e d it i n the p o l i t i c a l a r e n a . T h e choice to have a n a b o r t i o n s h o u l d r e m a i n p e r s o n a l b u t the violence is a larger societal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  Chapter Six - Summary and Conclusions  T h i s s t u d y w a s b a s e d o n interviews w i t h four people a n d , therefore, there are o b v i o u s l i m i t s to generalizing the observations m a d e b y these i n d i v i d u a l s . However, the r e s u l t s do indicate t h a t the violence of the a n t i a b o r t i o n m o v e m e n t h a s a d e t r i m e n t a l i m p a c t o n c l i n i c w o r k e r s a n d provides details as to the n a t u r e of these i m p a c t s . T h i s does suggest the need for further r e s e a r c h w i t h a larger p o p u l a t i o n .  The i n f o r m a t i o n o b t a i n e d from further r e s e a r c h w o u l d prove u s e f u l o n a p o l i t i c a l level for those l o b b y i n g for consistent enforcement of l a w s r e g a r d i n g e x t r e m i s t protest tactics. It w o u l d also prove u s e f u l to s o c i a l w o r k e r s a n d others e n t e r i n g t h i s field so they have a n informed awareness of the reality of w o r k i n g i n t h i s type of environment, as well as for developing tools for p r o v i s i o n of c o u n s e l l i n g / s u p p o r t services for staff i n a b o r t i o n c l i n i c s . In a global sense, t h i s w o u l d a i d those l o o k i n g for ' c o m m o n g r o u n d ' r e g a r d i n g  50  t h i s i s s u e by i l l u m i n a t i n g the damage c a u s e d by the violence a n d the need to find some form of c o m p r o m i s e .  There is growing c o n c e r n that the future of free s t a n d i n g a b o r t i o n c l i n i c s is i n j e o p a r d y because of the violence b e i n g perpetrated against the c l i n i c s . L o s s of a u t o n o m y is another c o n c e r n if these c l i n i c s are r e q u i r e d to a m a l g a m a t e w i t h h o s p i t a l s or m u l t i service c l i n i c s . T h e c l i n i c at w h i c h these interviews were h e l d operates from a feminist perspective a n d the staff w a n t to have a voice i n d e c i d i n g h o w service is offered a n d the setting a n d e n v i r o n m e n t i n w h i c h it is done. T h i s c o u l d be c o m p r o m i s e d b y amalgamation.  It a p p e a r s that the violence of the a n t i - a b o r t i o n extremists is escalating. It is a serious, o n g o i n g p r o b l e m that poses grave dangers to the lives, safety a n d peace of m i n d of the h e a l t h care professionals w h o provide a b o r t i o n services a n d the w o m e n w h o seek abortions.  T h e c l i n i c i n w h i c h the s t u d y u n d e r d i s c u s s i o n w a s c o n d u c t e d , s u b m i t t e d a report to the ' C o m m i s s i o n of Inquiry; Policing i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ' a d d r e s s i n g the l a c k of intervention a n d enforcement of l a w s r e g a r d i n g violence targeted at the clinic by a n t i - a b o r t i o n protestors.  A s t r o n g case w a s  m a d e for the p o s i t i o n that the police force's attitude a n d behavior t o w a r d s the c l i n i c violence is representative of a p a t r i a r c h a l , m i s o g y n i s t society t h a t c o n t i n u e s to m a r g i n a l i z e a n d disenfranchise w o m e n . T h i s is a s y s t e m t h a t  51  t h r o u g h l a c k of intervention a n d enforcement against violence i s , i n essence, c o n d o n i n g it.  The violence of the a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction h a s a far r e a c h i n g i m p a c t o n c l i n i c w o r k e r s ' lives. T h e y k n o w t h a t every i n c i d e n t t h a t o c c u r s o n a n a t i o n a l or i n t e r n a t i o n a l level c o u l d have o c c u r r e d to t h e m , or that it m a y be t h e m or one close to t h e m next. They feel somewhat powerless i n the face of the violence. T h e y have little c o n t r o l over it a n d do not feel s u p p o r t e d by police forces a n d p o l i t i c a l systems that do not treat the threat of violence s e r i o u s l y e n o u g h . There have been no arrests i n the recent shootings of D r . R o m a l i s , the doctor shot a n d critically injured i n V a n c o u v e r , B . C . a n d D r . S l e p i a n , the d o c t o r m u r d e r e d i n N e w Y o r k , t h o u g h a n t i - a b o r t i o n activists are strongly s u s p e c t e d of being responsible.  A c o n n e c t i o n c a n be made to these feelings of powerlessness a n d a l a c k of c o n t r o l , to w o m e n ' s subordinate p o s i t i o n i n society a n d the m a l e need to dominate.  C l i n i c w o r k e r s feel powerless to stop the s t a l k i n g , the threats,  the p i c k e t s , or the shootings. They never k n o w where or w h e n a n extremist m a y strike. It i s difficult i n t h a t one k n o w s t h a t a d m i t t i n g the fear a n d the i n t i m i d a t i o n plays into the a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction's h a n d s , i n a w a y , b e c a u s e it m a k e s t h e m feel they have succeeded. The fact t h a t c l i n i c s c o n t i n u e to operate, a n d statements from these w o r k e r s , indicate t h a t they have not succeeded. These c o m m i t t e d people c o n t i n u e the fight.  W h a t m u s t a l w a y s be i n the forefront is the damage b e i n g done to c l i n i c w o r k e r s a n d w o m e n seeking abortions. T h i s is a service legally m a n d a t e d to be p r o v i d e d , a n d more serious c o n s i d e r a t i o n needs to be given to h o l d i n g a c c o u n t a b l e those w h o b l a t a n t l y try to o b s t r u c t the p r o v i s i o n of s u c h services a n d the violent a n d deadly m e t h o d s they employ.  We c a n l e a r n from u n d e r s t a n d i n g w h a t these people experience; the negative r e p e r c u s s i o n s of w o r k i n g i n s u c h a n e n v i r o n m e n t a n d c l i m a t e of fear; h o w they cope a n d some of the positive o u t c o m e s of facing a n d o v e r c o m i n g the fear. S o c i a l w o r k e r s w o r k i n g i n h o s p i t a l a n d p s y c h i a t r i c settings w o u l d benefit from u n d e r s t a n d i n g the d y n a m i c s o p e r a t i n g here i n order to offer m e a n i n g f u l assistance to clinic w o r k e r s a n d others i m p a c t e d by the threat of violence. The more we u n d e r s t a n d a n i s s u e i m p r o v e s o u r ability to offer productive assistance.  F a m i l y therapists c o u l d g a i n i n s i g h t s  into w a y s to a p p r o a c h the m a r i t a l a n d family difficulties, a n d the a c c o m p a n y i n g fear a n d stress that arise for those a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the c l i n i c s . There are also those seeking abortions t h a t are i m p a c t e d a n d seek c o u n s e l l i n g . A s well, there is a need for social w o r k r e s e a r c h to focus o n the s t r u c t u r e s of violence i n society a n d provide c o n s t r u c t i v e w a y s to a d d r e s s r e d u c i n g t h i s violence.  T h i s c l i n i c , legally m a n d a t e d to provide a service, i s forced to operate as if i n a c o n s t a n t state of siege, i n a *war zone'. In order to operate, the c l i n i c is r e s p o n s i b l e for its o w n safety measures.  The law, i n the form of the police  53  a n d the c o u r t s , c a n n o t a n d does not protect t h e m . To the w o m e n interviewed, t h i s l a c k of protection is a source of f r u s t r a t i o n a n d anger. T h i s is not to suggest that there is a c o n s p i r a c y o n the part of the police a n d the c o u r t s to not protect these w o m e n . It is a reflection of the a b o r t i o n i s s u e b e i n g seen as a women's i s s u e , therefore not to be t a k e n s e r i o u s l y . T h i s is a n example of h o w the l a w does not recognize or a d d r e s s w o m e n ' s needs or experience.  In the late 1 9  t h  c e n t u r y a n d early 2 0  t h  century i n North America, women  o b t a i n i n g a b o r t i o n s were seen as v i c t i m s . One major rationale for legalizing a b o r t i o n s w a s to reduce the perils facing w o m e n from unsafe, illegal a b o r t i o n s a n d the s t i g m a of illegitimate b i r t h s or one p a r e n t families. Today, w o m e n o b t a i n i n g abortions are often viewed i n less benevolent manner.  R a t h e r t h a n seen as v i c t i m s by those o p p o s i n g a b o r t i o n , they are  seen as c a l l o u s , careless w o m e n u s i n g a b o r t i o n for their o w n selfish r e a s o n s (Smart, 1989). T h i s attitude a d d s another layer of h o s t i l i t y to a n already a c r i m o n i o u s debate.  A s we enter the 2 1  s t  c e n t u r y , we as a society need to re-assess o u r  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y towards violence a n d the significance t h a t gendered roles p l a y i n h o w violence is p l a y e d out. In N o r t h A m e r i c a , we c u r r e n t l y live i n a society t h a t encourages m e n to find their source of power a n d strength t h r o u g h violence; t h r o u g h g u n s , t h r o u g h actions a n d not t h r o u g h a n y sort of s p i r i t u a l sense of strength. W o m e n c o n t i n u e to be expected to be the  54  n u r t u r e r s a n d caretakers of the 'gentler, k i n d e r ' way a n d m a l e s of the 'aggressive, violent way. These gendered roles shape h o w females a n d m a l e s behave a n d h o w they view e a c h other, a n d u l t i m a t e l y encourages violence as a m e a n s to achieve a n e n d . T h u s , we have the violence d i s p l a y e d b y the a n t i - a b o r t i o n faction a n d the sense of entitlement to u s e s u c h m e a s u r e s .  We need to look at preventing further p o l a r i z a t i o n a r o u n d the a b o r t i o n i s s u e . W e n e e d to develop c o m m u n i t y i n f r a s t r u c t u r e s t h a t s u p p o r t p a r e n t s ; where it is e c o n o m i c a l l y feasible to have a n d raise c h i l d r e n . M o s t i m p o r t a n t l y , as a first step, we need a n early i n t e r v e n t i o n focus o n gender role development. A feminist focus offers b a l a n c e d role development where the positive aspects of male a n d female strengths shape h o w females a n d m a l e s behave a n d view the w o r l d .  It is u n l i k e l y t h a t there w i l l ever be c o n s e n s u s a b o u t the a b o r t i o n i s s u e , b u t we c a n w o r k o n r e d u c i n g the violence connected to the i s s u e ; p a r t i c u l a r l y the violence of the a n t i - a b o r t i o n movement. A s d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s thesis, timely police response to clinic violence reduces violent a t t a c k s . E n f o r c e m e n t of the laws i n t h i s way is a first, t h o u g h m i n o r , step. To not a d d r e s s the violence a r o u n d t h i s i s s u e offers only e s c a l a t i n g violence.  There are no s i m p l e s o l u t i o n s to t h i s i s s u e . There are m a n y factors involved. C h a n g i n g religious c o n v i c t i o n s , political c o n v i c t i o n s or attitudes r e g a r d i n g gendered roles i n society today are large t a s k s , at times seemingly  insurmountable tasks.  B u t as w o m e n a n d m a n y d i s e n f r a n c h i s e d groups  k n o w change, t h o u g h often frustratingly slow, is possible.  56  BIBLIOGRAPHY  A r m s t r o n g , J a m e s M D , 1995,Testimony; V i o l e n c e I m p e d i n g A c c e s s to H e a l t h Centre, W a s h i n g t o n ; N a t i o n a l A b o r t i o n F e d e r a t i o n (NAF). Berlet, C h i p , 1996, The Politics of J o h n S a l v i ' s C o n s p i r a c y Theories - Part II, Somerville; Political R e s e a r c h A s s o c i a t e s . B o w e r , A n n , 1996, C l i n i c Violence; the p y t h o n of choice, W a s h i n g t o n ; Institute for F i r s t A m e n d m e n t S t u d i e s , Inc. B r o w n m i l l e r , S u s a n , 1984, A g a i n s t O u r W i l l : M e n , W o m e n a n d Rape, New Y o r k ; B a n t a m B o o k s . B r o w n m i l l e r , S u s a n , 1960, S i s t e r h o o d i s Powerful, New Y o r k ; Simon & Shuster. 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