Anti-Abortion Extremists

  • Anti-abortion extremists are individuals or groups who believe abortion is unethical and that violence is justified against people and establishments providing abortion services. Anti-abortion extremists advocate murder, death threats, and other criminal activity—including arson, vandalism, and harassment against women’s reproductive healthcare facilities.
  • Since 1993, seven anti-abortion extremists have been responsible for the deaths of 11 persons nationwide—including abortion doctors, clinic staff, clinic security guards, and civilians.

  • Army of God (AOG), a decentralized Christian extremist movement, encourages violent opposition toward abortion clinics and providers. All seven anti-abortion extremists who carried out lethal attacks nationwide were influenced by AOG.


Anti-abortion extremists predominantly adhere to a blend of single-issue and anti-government ideologies and are mobilized by elevated media attention and perceived controversies.

  • Several anti-abortion extremists who have blended ideologies—identifying with sovereign citizen and militia extremism—have carried out murder, arson, and bombings. In 2009, sovereign citizen extremist Scott Roeder murdered Dr. George Tiller for carrying out late-term abortions in Wichita, Kansas. In 1996, four militia members were arrested for burning down an abortion clinic in Washington State, and in 1997-98, anti-government extremist Eric Rudolph bombed two abortion clinics in Georgia and Alabama.
  • In November 2015, Robert Dear targeted a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing three and injuring six, after clinics in Denver were featured in inflammatory videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life organization.


  • New Jersey has 26 Planned Parenthood facilities and more than 170 ambulatory surgical care centers providing abortions.

  • In New Jersey, there are three regional Planned Parenthood affiliates accredited by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Each affiliate has a Security Director responsible for reporting suspicious activity to PPFA on a monthly basis.

Planned Parenthood in New Jersey

In February 2016, New Jersey’s General Assembly introduced legislation requiring retail pharmacies to stock emergency contraception in accordance with federal Food and Drug Administration regulations.

  • Some anti-abortion extremists believe the use of contraceptive methods, such as Plan B, Ella, and Intra-Uterine Devices, are the same as receiving an abortion, potentially making locations selling these products targets.

Additional Resources

Healthcare and Public Health Sector Snapshot

Domestic Terrorism in 2015

For more information, please contact NJOHSP's Analysis Bureau at or 609-584-4000.