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An abortion clinic is a medical facility that performs or specializes in abortions. Such clinics may be public medical centers or private medical practices. Planned Parenthood, whose clinics offer abortions as well as other reproductive care and counseling, is the largest operator of abortion clinics in the United Statesmarker.

The first Dutchmarker abortion clinic (the Mildredhuis in Arnhemmarker) opened on February 27, 1971.

Attacks on abortion clinics

Because of the controversial nature of abortion in many countries, including the United States, pro-life advocates often protest abortion clinics through picketing, or other means such as holding vigils, although some have resorted to terrorism tactics such as arson or bombings to prevent people from using these facilities. Over a fifteen year period there have been 167 attacks on abortion clinics of one form or another. The amount of anti-abortion related violence peaked in 2003.

In the U.S., violence directed toward abortion providers has claimed the lives of 8 people, including 4 doctors, 2 clinic employees, a security guard, and a clinic escort. These are:

A fifth doctor, George Patterson, was shot in Mobilemarker, Alabamamarker on August 21, 1993, but it is uncertain whether his death was the direct result of his profession or rather a robbery.

Other terms

Because of the controversial nature of abortion, a number of alternative terms for "abortion clinic" have arisen from both sides of the abortion debate. Those opposed to legal abortion sometimes pejoratively refer to abortion clinics as "abortuaries" (a portmanteau of "abortion" and "mortuary") or "abortion mills", while supporters of legal abortion and abortion clinics themselves often use the title "women's clinic".


  1. Crow, Karen. (August 19, 2005). A Violent Week in August. Choice! Magazine. Retrieved January 25, 2007.

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