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All Volunteer Clinic Escort for the Summit Women's Center Records, 1995-2002
5 boxes (3.83 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 546

Abstract:
Abortion rights advocacy group. Videotapes, photographs, and memorabilia documenting the anti-abortion protestors who formed around the Summit Medical Center, an abortion clinic in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Also contains court documents pertaining to a federal suit filed against some protestors.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The Records are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection. Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies. Original videotapes are closed; selected viewing copies are available.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to materials produced by the All Volunteer Escort Service. Copyright to other materials may be owned by the creators, or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

The All Volunteer Escort Service for the Summit Women's Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut was founded by Patricia Hendrickson in 1993. The Summit Women's Center is a branch of Summit Medical Centers. (Other branches are in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina and Nevada.) The Summit Women's Center, like the other Summit Medical Centers, is an abortion facility. In addition to performing abortions, the Summit Women's Center in Bridgeport also provides emergency contraceptive pills ("morning after pills" or "Plan B"), RU 486 (an abortion pill), birth control, pregnancy and STD testing, and mental health counseling. The All Volunteer Escort Service was formed to escort patients and staff from the parking lot of the Summit Women's Center to the building, shielding them from harassment by anti-abortion protestors. Abortions were performed at the Summit Women's Center two days a week and the protestors only came on those days to harass patients. The Summit Women's Center in Bridgeport was uniquely vulnerable to attack by protestors because of the relatively long distance patients and staff had to walk from the parking area to the clinic entrance.

In 1994, Hendrickson's husband, Donald Hendrickson, began videotaping the clinic location to document the behavior of the protestors. These tapes were used as evidence in The United States and the State of Connecticut v. Stanley G. Scott, Carmen E.F. Vazquez, Bobby J. Riley (1995), a federal suit filed against some anti-abortion protestors. The suit was filed on the grounds of violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act and, after a series of appeals, the Court found against Scott, et al.

The tapes were also used as evidence by the defense in a civil suit filed by the American Family Association on behalf of the protestors against the Summit Women's Center in Bridgeport in 2001. The case was settled out of court in early 2002. It should be noted that some of the videotapes used in the federal case against the protestors, as well as certain court documents, remain filed in Hartford, Connecticut.

The All Volunteer Escort Service ceased operations in 2002 when the Summit Women's Center re-located to a facility with a tall chain link fence protecting the clinic entrance and the parking area.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The All Volunteer Clinic Escort Service Records include legal documents relating to court cases and legal actions involving the service, memorabilia including photographs and volunteer vests, and videotapes created by Donald Hendrickson documenting the anti-abortion protestors who formed around the Summit Medical Center.

The legal documents pertain to anti-abortion demonstrations and protests outside the Summit Women's Center and court cases that involved the service or participants. The photographs in the collection serve to document some of the anti-abortion protestors. The bulk of the collection is comprised of VHS tapes and 8mm videocassettes documenting activities of protestors and the escort service.

This collection is organized into three series:


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The Records are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection. Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies. Original videotapes are closed; selected viewing copies are available.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to materials produced by the All Volunteer Escort Service. Copyright to other materials may be owned by the creators, or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

All Volunteer Escort Service for the Summit Women's Center Records, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

Alternative Formats Available

Selected videotapes have been copied to DVD for research use.

History of the Collection

The All Volunteer Escort Service for the Summit Women's Center Records were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Patricia M. and Donald L. Hendrickson in 2006.

Processing Information

Processed by Corey Fabian Borenstein, 2008.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English

Series Descriptions



SERIES I. LEGAL DOCUMENTS is organized into two subseries: Court cases and General notes. The Court cases subseries contains notes, clippings, affidavits, subpoenas and court transcripts for Carmen Vasquez, et al. vs. Summit Women's Center, Inc. (2001), Christman Case (2002), and the Scott Case (1995). The General notes subseries contains information used in court on the identities of the anti-abortion protestors.




SERIES II. MEMORABILIA AND PHOTOGRAPHS contains flyers, a clinic escort vest, and a list of the escorts as well as photographs. The photographs show the opening of the Summit Women's Center and protesters outside the clinic on different occasions. The photographs show student protestors being bused to the clinic in large numbers. Negatives of some of the photographs are also in this series.




Scope and content:

SERIES III. AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS contains both VHS and 8mm tapes documenting the protestors at the Summit Women's Center from 1995-2002. Documents describing what is on the tapes, including information about who was an escort that day, who did the video-taping and the times and dates when taping occurred are also included.

Restrictions on use:

There are viewing copies (DVD) for seven of the 8mm tapes. Original tapes may not be used.

Contents List
SERIES I. LEGAL DOCUMENTS



Court cases



Carmen Vasquez, et al. vs. Summit Women's Center, Inc.
2001

Box 1: folder 1-3
Christman Case
2002

Box 1: folder 4
United States of American and the State of Connecticut vs. Stanley G. Scott, et al.
1995-97


Deposition of Donald Hendrickson


Box 1: folder 5
Notes, clippings, and legal documents
2002

Box 1: folder 6
Court decisions
1997-98

Box 1: folder 7
Complaints
1995-97

Box 1: folder 8
Affidavits of Donald Hendrickson
1997-98

Box 1: folder 9
Subpoenas
1995-97

Box 1: folder 10
General notes on anti-abortion protestors


Box 1: folder 11
SERIES II. MEMORABILIA AND PHOTOGRAPHS



Memorabilia



"You can be a life saver" flyers
1997-2000

Box 1: folder 12
List of escorts
1996

Box 1: folder 13
Clinic Escort Vest


Box 3
Photographs



Protestors
8 May 2002

Box 3
Summit Clinic Opening
14 May 2002

Box 3
Summit Clinic Opening Negatives
1995-2002

Box 3
SERIES III. AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS



Information about videotapes



Photocopies of tape labels
1997-98

Box 2: folder 1
Vignette scripts
1995-96

Box 2: folder 2
Box lists, tape labels, and Summit Women's Center Detail


Box 2: folder 3
Lists of contents of tapes
1995-2002

Box 2: folder 4-13
DVD copies

[viewing copies and preservation masters]

Apr-Sept 1995, Aug 1997

Box 2
VHS videotapes
1995-2002

Box 3
Restrictions on access:

[CLOSED]

Vignettes
1995-1996

Box 3
Escort Dinner
19 July 2002

Box 3
8mm videotapes
1995-2002

Box 3-5
Restrictions on access:

[CLOSED]


Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Abortion services--Connecticut--History--Sources
  • Abortion--Connecticut--History--Sources
  • Abortion--Law and legislation--Connecticut--History--Sources
  • All Volunteer Escort Service for the Summit Women's Center (Bridgeport, Conn)
  • Pro-choice movement--United States--History--Sources
  • Pro-life movement--United States--History--Sources
  • Roe, Jane, 1947- --Trials, litigation, etc.
  • Summit Women's Center (Bridgeport, Conn)--History-Sources
  • Trials (Abortion)--Bridgeport (Conn)

Contributors
  • Hendrickson, Donald
  • Hendrickson, Patricia


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