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NARAL Pro-Choice Affiliate Calls on Mass. Governor To Classify Clinic Violence as Domestic Terrorism

January 4, 2016 — In related news, an abortion-rights group is pressing Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) to urge the Department of Justice to consider violence directed toward abortion clinics as acts of domestic terrorism,AP/Daily Journal reports.

Megan Amundson, executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, said the request is part of a larger national campaign by NARAL Pro-Choice America to get DOJ to investigate violence toward abortion clinics as domestic terrorism, noting that the department can put more resources toward investigating instances of violence when they are classified as domestic terrorism.

The campaign comes amid growing concerns about violence directed toward abortion providers. According to the National Abortion Federation, there have been eight murders, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 186 arsons and thousands of other incidents at abortion clinics nationwide since 1977.

Amundson cited specific incidents of clinic violence, including the recent Colorado clinic shooting and a 1994 shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Brookline, Mass. "As governor, Charlie Baker has the duty to request federal resources in instances where the health, safety, and well-being of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are at issue," she said, adding, "The Brookline shootings are reason enough to demand that the federal government is at the ready to respond with every possible resource if there is violence at abortion clinics again."

Meanwhile, Baker said he would use federal standards to determine what constitutes terrorism, but said he regards anyone who engages in such violence to be engaging in "terrorist acts." Baker said, "The simple truth is it's an act by somebody or some group of somebodies to terrorize, maim, damage and hurt people who are innocent victims" (LeBlanc, AP/Daily Journal, 12/29/15).