Yesterday, several abortion clinics around the US received letters threatening to contain anthrax, a potentially fatal infectious disease that can affect people. One of the targeted clinics was the New Woman All Women Health Care Clinic in Birmingham, AL, the same clinic that was bombed in January, 1998. Suspected bomber Eric Rudolph has been charged with the bombing, but has not yet been captured.
Clinics across the US were notified about the letters and instructed to be on heightened alert by the quick group effort of law enforcement, clinic personnel, Feminist Majority Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and The National Abortion Federation. As a result, the New Woman All Women Health Care Clinic in Birmingham received the alert before the anthrax threat letter and did not open it.
All of the clinics took the proper precautionary steps and cooperated with local law enforcement to ensure that clinic staff and patients were safe. Federal investigators are currently examining the contents of the envelopes to see if the substance found in the letters is indeed anthrax, but authorities believe at this time there are no traces of the bacteria in any of the letters.
Clinics in Rhode Island, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky and Connecticut also received the threat letters.