Ten years ago today, Amherst, NY abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian was murdered. He was killed in his home by James Kopp, who shot Dr. Slepian through his kitchen window in front of his wife and children.
Dr. Slepian's murder was thankfully the last murder of an abortion provider to date, ending a long string of high-profile, violent terrorism against abortion clinics. A total of seven abortion clinic staff and abortion providers have been murdered in the United States, and many more have been been the victims of murder attempts. Dr. Slepian's murder of course hits close to home, since it happened so near to our own service region. It also serves as a reminder of the nonfatal 1997 shooting of a Rochester, NY abortion provider in his home (James Kopp is a suspect).
It bears emphasis that abortion clinics are very safe and secure, and the vast majority of anti-choice demonstrations are peaceful. However, the fact remains that violence is a not-so-distant memory, and harassment outside abortion clinics continues to this day. It's important to remember the lives of Dr. Slepian and others who dedicated their lives to women health and were horrendously killed because of their commitment -- the days of their murders are days we can never let happen again.
For more, see Planned Parenthood Federation of America's blog I Am Emily X.