A tool of the trade for "pro-lifers"
All of this has happened before.
The Washington Post reports:
Authorities say the man charged with setting fire to a Florida Panhandle abortion clinic long targeted by violence told investigators he was motivated by his hatred for abortion.
In an affidavit released late Thursday, prosecutors said 41-year-old Bobby Joe Rogers told investigators that he made a fire bomb and threw it at the Pensacola clinic early Sunday.
Rogers said he was pushed to action after he saw a young woman enter the clinic for an abortion while he was standing outside the clinic with a group of protesters recently.
It's almost hard to get worked up about stories like this, when they're so damned common. Bombs thrown, buildings burned, car tires slashed, patients stalked, doctors assassinated ... You can look at the statistics. You can read about the thousands of acts of violence and tens of thousands of acts of "non-violent" terrorism against health care providers and their staff and their patients and their landlords and their landlords' children. It's all part of the "pro-life" movement to save the fetuses. And hey, if some property, or some people, have to get hurt, well, that's a fair price to pay.
We can already predict how this will play out. After all, all of this has happened before:
The two-story Pensacola clinic that was gutted by flames has been attacked before. It was bombed on Christmas Day in 1984, and in 1994 a doctor and a volunteer who escorted patients to and from the clinic were shot to death as they arrived. The gunman, Paul Hill, was executed in 2003.
In the coming days and weeks, we'll learn more about this Bobby Joe Rogers, who was so enraged at the sight of a woman walking into a health clinic that he just had to bomb it. We'll probably learn about his obsession with this clinic, perhaps even with a particular doctor who worked there. He'll probably have at least tenuous connections to an anti-choice organization: some literature in his car, perhaps, or the phone number of, say, Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy advisor at Operation Rescue and herself a convicted "pro-life" terrorist who, yes, tried to blow up an abortion clinic. Any organization to which his name might be linked will, of course, denounce his violence. They always do. It's their thinly veiled attempt at plausible deniability—stir up the hate, put $10,000 bounties on the heads of doctors, and then claim innocence and sadness after the fact.
All of this has happened before. And until our government starts treating "pro-life" terrorism like, you know, terrorism—starting with actually identifying such acts as terrorism, rather than as mere isolated incidents of violence, because the "debate" about women's health care is so "complicated"—all of this will, tragically, happen again.