Blue background with text that reads: Abortion care providers are being threatened across the country. Here's why we need to stand with them today and every day.

5 Reasons We Stand with Providers on Abortion Provider Appreciation Day — And Every Day

March 10 is National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, created in honor of Dr. David Gunn, who was murdered on March 10, 1993, by a white supremacist anti-abortion extremist. From this tragedy sprang an annual commemoration, where we celebrate the compassionate, courageous abortion care providers around the country who are fighting for our reproductive freedom through the essential care they provide.

But even while we celebrate abortion providers through love notes, art, and plenty of ice cream, it’s important to recognize that their work is now harder than ever. From growing legal attacks to ongoing physical threats, abortion care providers are being threatened across the country—and they need our support.

Here are 5 reasons why we need to stand with them on Abortion Provider Appreciation Day — and every day.

  1. The Right Is Trying to Silence Providers and Close Clinics

    Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, conservative politicians and anti-abortion activists have increased their efforts to intimidate and silence providers and close clinics. In the past year alone, nearly 300 new anti-abortion bills in 40 states have been proposed, many of them actively targeting providers. For example: 

    • A newly passed Texas law makes it illegal to perform an abortion from the moment of fertilization, and has no exceptions.

    • A proposed bill in Iowa would make it a felony to distribute abortion pills.

    • In Idaho, a new proposed bill classifies the transporting of minors seeking abortions as human trafficking, and forces doctors to prove in court that they didn’t break the law.

    • Abortion bans in 14 states have already left those states without a single clinic!

    The threat of legal action has put enormous pressure on providers. And it’s taking a toll. So far, at least 61 abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood facilities have made the difficult decision to stop offering services. And legal traps designed to snare and punish providers have put many doctors in the brutally unfair position of having to wait until a patient’s life is at risk before providing needed care to ensure they aren’t at legal risk.

    Providers and patients should never have to live in fear of doing their jobs or receiving care.

  2. Providers Are Facing Physical Threats

    In addition to legal threats, there is a long history of intimidation against abortion care providers dating back to the mid-1800s, when the majority of abortions were still performed by midwives—over 50% of them women of color. Around the Civil War, white doctors seeking to establish themselves as the authority on reproductive care began publicly tarnishing the reputations of midwives. They falsely claimed midwives practiced methods that were unsanitary and immoral. Thousands of midwives were forced out of medical care.

    Soon, the threat of physical violence against providers would become common practice. In just the last 50 years, abortion care providers have been victim to a reported:

    • 11 murders and 26 attempted murders

    • 956 death threats

    • 42 bombings and 667 bomb threats

    • 194 arsons

    And it’s getting worse. Since the 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade, there has been a sharp increase in violence and crime against providers and clinics. According to the National Abortion Federation, reports of stalking have risen 600%, blockades of clinics are up 450%, and clinic invasions are up 129% nationally.

    Despite all the threats, and all the stress, heroic providers continue to go to work and provide care for their patients and communities.

  3. Communities of Color are Disproportionately Impacted

    Laws criminalizing abortion providers make it harder for everyone to access reproductive care—especially Black communities and other communities of color who already struggled for access, even under Roe.

    Due to systemic racism in health care and society as a whole, people of color routinely experience worse health care and have greater maternal health risks. Black women are three times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women, and are more likely to seek an abortion. Threatening people of color’s right to reproductive care through legal and physical intimidation is white supremacy in action.

    And it has to stop.

  4. The Movement Is Fighting Back

    Now, some good news. Even though a well-funded movement is working hard to intimidate abortion care providers and close clinics, a growing movement is fighting just as hard to protect them.

    At the ballot box, on the streets, and in courtrooms, the movement to preserve bodily autonomy is fighting back to protect abortion care providers and reproductive justice. And let’s not forget–a strong majority of Americans support abortion.

    Meanwhile, providers continue preserving access to reproductive care—especially for historically marginalized communities. Many clinics have expanded telehealth services or even gone fully virtual to better serve their patients. Others are offering care later in pregnancy to help patients with barriers to access, such as cost or travel.

  5. Abortion Care Providers Need Our Support

    We honor the abortion care providers past and present who are fighting for our reproductive freedom. Join us and the Abortion Care Network in supporting abortion care providers today and every day.