Terrorist attacks against women’s healthcare facilities 1970-2018


  • Christina Sajak, MD
  • Gregory Jasani, MD
  • Reem Alfalasi, MD
  • Garrett Cavaliere, DO
  • Benjamin Lawner, DO




women’s healthcare security, terrorism, disaster medicine


Introduction: Targeted acts of violence against women’s healthcare facilities and healthcare providers are a continued threat to the safety and well-being of those seeking reproductive care as well as those who provide it around the world.

Study objectives: This study aims to review and analyze terrorist attacks against facilities and providers who offer women’s healthcare services globally.

Methods: A thorough analysis of data coming from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) was performed. This database is run by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.

Results: Two hundred and seventy-one incidents registered in the GTD between 1970 and 2018 were found to be terrorist attacks on women’s healthcare facilities, the majority of which occurred in the United States. The method of attack or weapons used varied greatly. While the majority of these attacks targeted facilities, a number of attacks focused on individuals, namely, healthcare providers.

Conclusion: Facilities and providers associated with women’s healthcare services, particularly reproductive health, remain at risk of terror attack. Although carried out by a variety of groups and with diverse methods, these attacks appear most prevalent, or most reported, in Western society and threaten essential reproductive healthcare.

Author Biographies

Christina Sajak, MD

University of Maryland Emergency Medicine Residency, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland

Gregory Jasani, MD

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

Reem Alfalasi, MD

Department of Critical Care Medicine, New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York

Garrett Cavaliere, DO

Rutgers Health EMS & Disaster Medicine Fellowship, Department of Emergency Medicine, RWJ Barnabas Health Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, New Jersey

Benjamin Lawner, DO

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland


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How to Cite

Sajak, C., G. Jasani, R. Alfalasi, G. Cavaliere, and B. Lawner. “Terrorist Attacks Against women’s Healthcare Facilities 1970-2018”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 18, no. 1, Nov. 2023, pp. 31-36, doi:10.5055/ajdm.0457.




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