Butyric acid is a clear, colorless liquid with an unpleasant, rancid, vomit-like odor. Anti-abortion extremists began using butyric acid as a weapon against abortion facilities in early 1992. The goal of introducing butyric acid into a clinic is to disrupt services, close the clinic, and harass patients and staff. Depending on the amount used and how it is introduced into the clinic, butyric acid can cause thousands of dollars of damage, requiring clinics to replace carpeting, furniture, and conduct extensive cleanup of the facility. In addition, even after cleanup, butyric acid's smell leaves a reminder of the incident for months, and often years, to come.
There have been about 100 butyric acid attacks throughout the United States and Canada, causing in excess of $1 million in damages.
The table below contains fewer than 100 entries. This is because in many cases multiple clinics were targeted in the same city on the same day.
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