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Abortion clinics, pregnancy centers, churches and police are ramping up security measures in some areas to brace for the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Friday decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
The high court ruled 6-3 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to uphold a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The Republican-led state of Mississippi asked the Supreme Court to strike down a lower court ruling that stopped the 15-week abortion ban from taking place.
The Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center, which was vandalized earlier this month, said it has replaced old security cameras with new ones since the center’s building was egged and painted on, Executive Director Janet Durig told Fox News Digital.
Police have also offered the clinic increased protection ever since, including drive-bys that “have probably increased six-fold” and nighttime security guards.
“There’s been police in and out of our parking lot all day long. Their presence has been seen and felt throughout the neighborhood,” she said, adding that she has not seen any protest activity yet on Friday.
“Of course, it’s not dark yet,” she said.
Aid for Women, a crisis pregnancy center in Chicago, said it “has been working with local law enforcement since the Draft Opinion was released to harden [its] facilities and to increase security capabilities at all our locations.”
“We are very thankful for our local police officers and their insight and support during this time, and look forward to continuing to serve the women in Chicagoland,” the clinic said in a statement.
The FBI said last week that it is investigating a recent string of attacks on pregnancy centers across the U.S. as potential acts of domestic terrorism.
Abortion providers, too, are beefing up security, which includes volunteers who escort patients into clinics.
“[T]he safety of our patients and staff is of top priority,” a Planned Parenthood spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “We have not seen an increase in protest activity thus far, but our security team is closely monitoring all locations and is ready to increase security as needed. We remain committed to doing everything we can to protect the safety of all who come to our health centers for critical care.”
The National Abortion Federation issued a study Friday that found assaults against abortion providers increased from 15 in 2018 to Assaults have risen 123 in 2021, including a 129% increase in invasions and a 600% increase in stalking incidents.
The Archdiocese of New York said it has been in regular contact with the New York Police Department, as well as other local and federal authorities in light of the decision. The FBI told the archdiocese that there are no known specific or credible threats to any archdiocesan parish or institution as of Friday.
“We have encouraged our parishes to be in touch with their local precinct or police department/sheriff’s office (depending on location) about this, and most parishes already have a good relationship with their local law enforcement,” the archdiocese said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Department of Homeland Security released a statement Friday saying the nation’s capital is aware of the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe.
“Mayor Bowser has been briefed and is committed to providing the necessary resources and support to keep our communities safe. As the nation’s capital, we take seriously our responsibility to protect First Amendment rights,” the statement stated, adding that the MPD has “initiated a full departmental activation through Tuesday” of next week to “support demonstrations.”
The Austin Police Department (APD) released a similar message Friday.
“In light of the recent Supreme Court case affected Roe v. Wade, we at the Austin Police Department want to encourage those to agree or disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to express themselves but do so peacefully,” Chief Joseph Cachon said. “[V]iolence and/or property damage will not be tolerated. Those who commit illegal acts while protesting take away from the message that peaceful groups intend to communicate.”
The statements come as abortion activist groups like Ruth Sent Us and We Testify plan demonstrations outside of the homes of Supreme Court Justices and elsewhere across major cities.
Jane’s Revenge recently took credit for attacks on pro-life organizations, including for the attack on Wisconsin Family Action last month and throwing red paint on a crisis pregnancy center in Washington, D.C.
Protests already erupted in D.C. and New York City following the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday morning. One protestor scaled a bridge in D.C., stopping traffic in wake of the decision. Streets shut down later on Friday in the Big Apple as people took to the streets to protest the ruling.
State-level abortion laws are set to go into effect shortly after the Supreme Court issues its final judgment in the Dobbs case.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw, David Spunt and Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report.