Since early July, several excellent, respected doctors at Planned Parenthood—our colleagues in reproductive health care—have been the subject of a ruthless and dishonest public campaign devised to discredit their work as compassionate providers of reproductive health care.
They were deceptively approached by a radical undercover anti-choice group whom they believed was working to help women donate fetal tissue to support lifesaving research. As physicians, their intentions were altruistic and caring. The same cannot be said for their attackers. Since these videos have been released, Planned Parenthood and other abortion care providers across the country have faced relentless attacks, both political and criminal. Some clinics have been targets of harassment and individual doctors and their families have received violent threats. Our society must not tolerate this domestic terrorism.
The sting videos, hacks, threats, and harassment of women and abortion providers must stop. When politicians and pundits champion the dishonest and fraudulent work of the so-called Center for Medical Progress, they tacitly endorse threats against physicians, nurses, and clinic staff. It is no coincidence that we’ve seen simultaneous, coordinated harassment in the weeks since the release of these videos. This extremism stigmatizes our friends and colleagues, further politicizes women’s health, and promotes dangerous behavior.
We stand in solidarity with all the providers and clinicians who have been unfairly and inappropriately depicted in a smear campaign intent on destroying their integrity. These are our friends, and they have dedicated their professional and personal lives to ensuring access to safe, legal, and compassionate care for anyone who needs it.
Every day, doctors who provide abortion care face attacks from anti-choice zealots who will do anything to achieve their goal: Stop access to legal, safe abortion. These actions are unacceptable and we stand with these doctors and with Planned Parenthood, no matter what.