Over 100 Abortion Clinics Targeted with Anthrax Threats

October 17, 2001


As the nation is hit by a scare over the potentially deadly anthrax bacteria, employees at abortion facilities can be heard saying, "sounds familiar to us…"

Reproductive health facilities have been threatened with anthrax and butiric acid attacks for years. But the threat has rapidly escalated this week: over 100 abortion clinics around the country received envelopes containing threatening letters and an unidentified powdery substance on Monday.

Over 90 Planned Parenthood offices and health centers in at least 13 states received the envelopes, postmarked from five different states. There are no reported injuries at the clinics as yet, and law enforcement officials say two of the envelopes have been tested by local health agencies and have come back negative. Law enforcement agencies are now conducting tests on the powder to learn if it is anthrax. The envelopes, mailed to affiliates on the east coast and Midwest, had pre-printed return addresses from the U.S. Marshall’s Office and the Secret Service and some said, "Time Sensitive–Urgent Security Notice–Open Immediately."

According to Planned Parenthood, some of the letters included messages from the Army of God, a militant and elusive anti-abortion group that has advocated violence against medical personnel who perform abortions.


  • Ann Glaser, Director Of Security For Planned Parenthood Federation Of America
  • Carol Mason, Professor Of American Studies At Hobart William Smith College And Author Of The Forthcoming Book Killing For Life: The Apocalyptic Narrative Of Anti-Abortion Politics.