ANTI-ABORTION TERROR ESCALATES IN CALIFORNIA Four Women's Clinics Attacked in February
From: Arm The Spirit
Feb 16, 1995
ANTI-ABORTION TERROR ESCALATES IN CALIFORNIA
Four Women's Clinics Attacked in February
By Tom Burghardt
Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR)
SAN FRANCISCO (February 16) -- Four California women's health
centers have been attacked by anti-abortion terrorists since
February 1. The latest in a series of arson attacks occurred
yesterday when a fire was started at the Planned Parenthood
facility in San Luis Obispo.
The fire, according to San Luis Obispo arson investigators,
was started under the Planned Parenthood facility. Though it
took fire officials only 15 minutes to extinguish the blaze,
preliminary damage estimates were set at more than $50,000.
The latest attack follows closely on the heels of a string
of similar arson incidents in Central California.
On February 1, a three alarm blaze gutted the Modesto
Planned Parenthood facility along with other businesses. Arson
investigators have confirmed that the fire was deliberately set.
Though the women's health facility provides counseling and family
planning services it does not perform abortions. The center,
however, has been a frequent target of anti-abortion picketers.
Damages to the clinic and surrounding businesses have been
estimated at more than $800,000.
On February 9, a Family Planning Associates medical clinic
was attacked. According to reports, a highway flare and a tire
were lit and hurled at the back door of the clinic. On February
10, a similar device was used in an attempt to burn down the
Women's Medical Group clinic, in Santa Barbara. Damage to these
two facilities however, were minor.
The attack on the San Luis Obispo Planned Parenthood
yesterday, is only the latest of a series of violent terrorist
incidents at California women's clinics. The arson attack, was
initiated on the same day that alleged anti-abortion terrorist,
John Salvi III, appeared in court in Massachusetts. Salvi,
charged with the murder of two clinic workers and the wounding of
five other individuals in Brookline, MA last December 29, entered
a plea of not guilty.
It is interesting to note, that at least two of the
California clinics attacked this month were targets of Operation
Rescue of California's "Summer of Missions '94" caravan last
July. The clinic in San Luis Obispo was visited by the "baby-
saving tour" by more than 60 members of Operation Rescue and
Missionaries to the Preborn.
In Modesto, 14 members of Operation Rescue of California,
including group director, Jeff White, and Joseph Foreman, co-
founder of Missionaries to the Preborn, appeared in court,
January 30 on charges stemming from a violent incident in Modesto
last July during the caravan.
More than 40 police and highway patrol officers were
summoned to quell a major disturbance initiated by the group.
Their trial was continued until later this month. On February 1,
the Modesto Planned Parenthood was gutted by the arson attack.
Anti-abortion activists deny any responsibility.
Currently, Operation Rescue of California and Missionaries
to the Preborn are at the mid-way point of a month-long
harassment campaign against abortion providers. Dubbed "No Place
to Hide," anti-abortion activists are targeting physicians and
clinic staff members at their offices and homes.
Tactics used by the group's include issuing "wanted posters"
of physicians, mailing "information" to physician neighbors
informing them that doctors who perform abortion live in their
neighborhoods. Such tactics are clearly designed to intimidate
their "targets," in order to force them to stop providing
abortion and other reproductive health services to women.
The current string of arson attacks follow a similar
campaign last October and November at clinic facilities in Chico,
Redding and San Raphael. Though anti-abortion activists have
denied any responsibility for these violent incidents, it is
clear that women's reproductive rights are focused within the
cross-hairs of the direct action anti-abortion movement.
BACORR: DEFENDING CLINICS, EXPOSING TERRORISM -- BECAUSE NO
ONE'S GONNA DO IT FOR US!