After fire-bombings on Christmas and New Year’s Day, the number of attacks since 1982 reached 30.
The epidemic of abortion clinic vandalism that began in 1982 picked up steam throughout 1984. On Christmas Day, three abortion facilities in Pensacola, Florida, were fire-bombed, causing some $375,000 worth of damage.
One week later, on New Year’s Day, the violence resumed as a bomb exploded outside the Hillcrest Women’s Surgi-Center in Washington, D.C. There were no deaths or injuries, but the blast caused extensive damage to the clinic and shattered windows in nearby apartment buildings.
The Washington, D.C., attack brought to 30 the number of cases of abortion clinic violence since May 1982, when the U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) began investigating. Twenty-four of the incidents took place in 1984.
To date, no one has been hurt or killed in the violence. Authorities have arrested four people in connection with the Florida bombings. By press time there had been no arrests in the New Year’s Day bombing.
Early last month, President Reagan condemned the attacks as “violent, anarchist activities.” But prochoice groups have criticized the President for his refusal to label the incidents as terrorism. Such a classification would be necessary before the incidents would fall within the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Some also have criticized prolife leaders for not taking an active enough role to stop the violence. Prolife organizations regularly denounce bombings and arson attacks on abortion clinics. But they have not always distanced the prolife movement from the fringe benefits the violence brings. Those benefits include the temporary closing of some clinics and ...1
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