From The New York Times:
On a clear and mild March day in 1993, the Operation Rescue leader Randall Terry spoke at a rally in southern Florida against abortion. “We’ve found the weak link is the doctor,” he told the crowd. “We’re going to expose them. We’re going to humiliate them.” A few days later, Dr. David Gunn, an abortion provider, was shot and killed outside his clinic in Pensacola, Fla., about 500 miles away. It was the first of eight such murders, the extreme edge of what has become an anti-abortion strategy of confrontation.
Terry understood that focusing on abortion providers was possible because they had become increasingly isolated from mainstream medicine. That was not what physicians themselves anticipated after the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. An open letter signed by 100 professors of obstetrics and gynecology predicted that free-standing clinics would be unnecessary if half of the 20,000 obstetricians in the country would do abortions for their patients, and if hospitals would handle “their proportionate share.” OB-GYNs at the time emphasized that abortion was a surgical procedure and fell under their purview.