Terrorist attacks against women’s healthcare facilities 1970-2018
Keywords: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.
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