A violent attack on Planned Parenthood is a terrorist attack -- and two women on Twitter are explaining why.
Last night former Planned Parenthood employee Bryn Greenwood tweeted what she described as acts of terrorism that she experienced during the three years she worked at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Kansas. Greenwood recounted multiple instances when anti-abortion activists violently attacked the clinic, including times when extremists planted cherry bombs on the clinic's front door and poured gasoline under the doors before lighting it.
Greenwood told The Huffington Post that she worked at the Wichita clinic from 1996 to the beginning of 2000. She also volunteered at the clinic throughout the 90s, during which time she worked with Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider who was shot and killed by an anti-abortion extremist in 2009 at his church in Kansas.
Greenwood told HuffPost she tweeted her experience not to scare women, but to make it known what Planned Parenthood employees and patients often go through. "I absolutely don't want my experiences to serve as a source of fear for potential patients, because I know Planned Parenthood works constantly to improve security for its patients and employees," she said.
"That said, I feel it's important to speak out about these things so that they can be acknowledged as part of a larger pattern of intimidation," Greenwood continued. "In the '90s, these incidents were often dismissed as 'vandalism,' but they are ongoing and they're being fueled by extremist rhetoric."
Greenwood's testimony is more poignant than ever after a gunman opened fired at a Colorado Springs' Planned Parenthood clinic this past Friday, killing three and wounding nine.
Michelle Kinsey Bruns, a feminist activist and organizer who uses the Twitter handle @ClinicEscort, used Twitter as a platform to speak out about anti-abortion violence and how frequent it's become. Using the hashtag #Is100Enough, Bruns tweeted 100 news stories of anti-abortion violence over the past five decades to highlight the urgency of the issue.
All 100 of Bruns' examples have been compiled on Storify, viewable in the slideshow below.
Greenwood added in her series of tweets that the goal of the types of attacks she experienced and the ones listed by Bruns is to quite literally terrorize Planned Parenthood employees and patients.
"The goal was to make us afraid to come to work, to make us quit, to make us close the clinic," she wrote. "That's terrorism. That's how terrorism works."
Throughout the '90s, Greenwood said she volunteered with Dr. George Tiller, the medical director of Women's Health Care Services at the Wichita clinic who was frequently targeted by anti-abortion activists.
In 1986, the Wichita clinic was firebombed by anti-abortion extremists and in 1993 Dr. Tiller was shot in both arms by an another extremist. "Dr. Tiller kept coming to work after he was shot, because he was a caring man who knew how important his work was," Greenwood tweeted. "He was later shot and killed by an anti-abortion extremist in 2009."
This week, the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood refused to be intimidated by violence. As Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards tweeted after the shooting: "These doors stay open."
Also on HuffPost:
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place