Report from Threatened Abortion Clinic in Charlotte

By Scott Trent

This Clinic Stays Open!

Over seventy people turned out in Charlotte today to defend a clinic that has been harassed every weekend for several years by anti-woman religious zealots… and kept the goons and creeps in Operation Save America from even turning up.


The mood amongst the clinic defenders was downright jubilant today, especially compared to last weekend, when a small group of about a dozen defenders held out against over 50 OSA people and their children in the southern heat. People had come from all over North Carolina and beyond to stand today with the clinic that has very publicly been under siege all week at the hands of this hateful band of fundamentalists. At the end of office hours, the clinic director came out to personally thank us for being there, and to let us know that today was the first day in eight years that the clients and staff of that feminist clinic had been able to pass through the gates without being harassed.

Throughout the week OSA has displayed their disgusting abortion banners all over town, have disrupted traffic by displaying anti-abortion messages over a major interstate, preached their hate at a Black Gay Pride demonstration, and picketed a mosque. But their prevailing obsession has been with the clinic on Hebron St., known in Charlotte not only as one of the best, most compassionate abortion providers in the state, but also as a place that doesn’t apologize for its pro-woman stance.

It’s precisely that stance that drives the antis to such extremes as attempting to block the clinic entrance, stand on ladders and preach hate at the clients inside, and even climb a tree and attempt to stay there in one particularly bizarre attempt at protest. But it’s also that stance that helped mobilize people from all over the state to make the early-morning drive to Charlotte to claim the clinic grounds for the forces of women’s rights. And it worked…though the OSA drove past a few times, no more than six antis (unaffiliated with OSA) showed up to face the much larger pro-choice crowd.  The OSA was turned back on the culminating day of their national conference, after bragging all week about making a major show of force on Hebron St.

We learned that the OSA had decided to focus their efforts on the two other abortion clinics in Charlotte—lying to the press that they had “shut down Family Reproductive Health”--and that the clinics had requested that there be no counter-presence of pro-choice forces. However, the successful defense of the Hebron St. clinic represented a major victory today, as the OSA was basically run off the one clinic they had obsessed over, and for the first time in eight years, the clinic its first break from an eight year campaign of harassment.

The World Can’t Wait contingent had brought a banner the week before that read “Abortion Providers Are Heroes!” which we left with the clinic staff. Every day throughout the week, clinic defenders held that banner outside the clinic, and it really set a defiant tone. This week, we had all the clinic defenders sign the banner, and

presented it to the clinic director

in honor of the invaluable service they provide to women throughout the region, and the bold, unapologetic, and compassionate way that they do it.