Jacksonville clinic: ‘This is a tragedy, a tragedy to all’
A Mayo Clinic clinic in Minnesota has been flooded with phone calls after receiving an overwhelming amount of hate mail for an abortion clinic.
The clinic in the suburb of Jackson is one of the few remaining abortion clinics in the state, which has passed a new law in the wake of the Colorado Springs and Oklahoma City massacres.
In an online statement, the clinic said it had received nearly 50,000 calls in the last 48 hours after the anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress released undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees discussing their abortion business.
“It’s been a horrible day,” Dr. Jennifer Johnson, a family physician at the clinic, told ABC News.
Johnson said she was overwhelmed with the calls from people upset by the videos.
“We had a lot of people who didn’t know us, but they had a strong emotional attachment to us and wanted to do something,” she said.
Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Deborah Nucatola said the callers were upset about the organization and the footage they released.
“They’re upset because it shows Planned Parenthood doing this,” she told ABC affiliate KSTP.
Nucatoline said that the clinic would continue to be open despite the barrage of calls.
While she said that people were upset by her organization, she said she wasn’t surprised by the calls.
“We’re used to receiving these calls, but we’re just used to it,” she added.
When contacted by ABC News, Planned Parenthood of Greater Minnesota spokeswoman Krista Fiebert said that in the aftermath of the footage, “the organization is doing what we need to do to address the issue and ensure that the safety and security of our employees and patients is protected.”
In a statement, Nucath said the clinic had received an overwhelming number of calls from “people concerned about the safety of the clinic staff and patients.”
“We understand this is a difficult time and the outpouring of support is great, but our primary concern is that our patients are safe and secure in our care,” she continued.
She said Planned Parenthood had not received any threats.
A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood’s parent organization, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, told the Associated Press that the organization was “deeply saddened” by the attack.
However, a spokesperson for the National Abortion Federation (NAF) said that while the clinic has received a number of threatening calls in recent weeks, it did not have any immediate information on a motive for the attack or the nature of the threat.
NAF president Cecile Richards told the AP that the attack had a “bizarrely religious aspect,” and that she believed it was the result of anti-Muslim sentiment.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Center for Reproductive Health said it would be releasing a statement later today condemning the incident. ABC/wires