WASHINGTON — The National Organization for Women announced Thursday that it will conduct vigils this weekend at 25 abortion clinics in 18 states to guard against potential violence during a time when federal officials have said that they expect attacks to occur.
Foes of abortion, who have bombed or burned nearly 30 abortion clinics since 1982, "are determined to take the law into their own hands and end safe, legal abortion," Judy Goldsmith, national president of NOW, said at a news conference. "We are even more determined to stop them."
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has warned the National Federation in a letter that clinics "should be aware of their security measures" Sunday through Tuesday, coinciding with President Reagan's inauguration and the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
Goldsmith said the vigils--beginning today at clinics in sites including Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Jose, Fresno and Solano County--will be conducted "in consultation" with federal and local law enforcement agencies. She predicted that they "will deter violence" and make self-defense on the part of the NOW guards "unnecessary".