Police in Alabama arrested a man accused of setting fire to and destroying an abortion clinic in Florida on New Year’s Day. Bobby Joe Rogers was charged with violating federal explosives laws and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The clinic, in Florida’s Panhandle, has been a frequent target of anti-abortion violence: It was bombed on Christmas Day in 1984 and was the location of a shooting in 1994 that left a doctor and a volunteer dead.
At least one pro-abort has rushed to trash the pro-life movement with this crime, and more are sure to follow: Maureen at Feminists for Choice claims “clinic violence is unfortunately an increasingly used tactic by anti-choice extremists.” As evidence, she cites a NARAL overview of anti-abortion violence over the past few decades, which falls well short of demonstrating any sort of conspiracy or epidemic. She has precisely zero statements from anyone in the pro-life movement, influential or not, endorsing or promoting violence, and presents no evidence that Rogers was in any way encouraged, aided by, or even connected to, other pro-lifers.
ABC News has more details on Rogers, a homeless man with a lengthy criminal record:
Rogers has an extensive record of arrests in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Florida, authorities reported. The affidavit shows that Rogers has felony convictions in Alabama, Tennessee and Missouri for burglary and in Mississippi for grand larceny. Details were not immediately available.
Records from Alachua County also show he was arrested on Dec. 12, 2009, on charges of vehicle theft. Art Forgey, spokesman for the Alachua County Sheriff’s office said Rogers spent three months in the Alachua County Jail. Court records from the Alachua County case were not immediately available.
So pro-life activists didn’t egg Rogers on; he was already prone to lawbreaking.
Further, as Matt Yonke points out at Life News, this was no ordinary (so to speak) abortion clinic:
[T]he owner of the abortion mill, abortionist Steven Brigham, is currently facing murder charges in Maryland in conjunction with abortions committed there […] he’s a money grubbing hack doctor who has botched abortions, hurt women, had his medical license suspended or revoked in several states, accepted personal goods like jewelry in exchange for abortions and, most recently, run a scheme where he begins a late-term abortion in New Jersey and then makes the woman drive to Maryland to complete it so as to skirt Maryland’s late-term abortion laws.
The simple fact is that all abortion is monstrous, Brigham’s brand doubly so, and there will always be some people who react monstrously to the monstrous. That’s just human nature. Pro-lifers shouldn’t tolerate or condone it (and we don’t), but nor should we hesitate to set the record straight when pro-aborts deploy false explanations meant to smear us and defend the bloodshed at the heart of their movement.
Lastly, It’s worth remembering that pro-choicers can get violent too, yet you never see pro-lifers spinning such incidents for personal gain; indeed, when Harlan James Drake murdered pro-life activist James Pouillon in 2009, American Life League did just the opposite, declaring in the wake of the shooting that, “since a motive has not yet been determined, speculation is useless, if not harmful.” You tell me which side has the moral high ground.