Eric Robert Rudolph, sentenced to life in prison in 2005 for four bombings — including bombings of abortion clinics in Atlanta and Birmingham — has recently taunted his victims from jail using Internet postings. Anti-abortion activist Donald Spitz has posted Rudolph’s essays on the website of the Army of God, a group with which Rudolph claimed affiliation when he took credit for the bombings. Rudolph does not have a computer but presumably communicates with Spitz through letters. Regulations allow wardens to reject inmate mail if it will harm the public or facilitate criminal activity, but the US attorney who prosecuted Rudolph said the prison cannot interfere with his mail, according to the Associated Press.
Feminist Majority Foundation Executive Vice President Katherine Spillar raised concerns over Rudolph’s activity and the US attorney’s inaction. “We fear that Rudolph is attempting to incite others to use deadly force against women’s health care providers,” Spillar said. “Promoting murder and celebrating murderers creates a climate for more violence. Especially in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision, anti-abortion extremists have been emboldened. Already we have seen a similar bombing attempt in Austin, Texas, where — fortunately — nobody was injured.” One of Rudolph’s essays advocates the use of violence against abortion clinics. He wrote that Jesus would not object to “militant action in defense of the innocent.”
Rudolph received multiple life sentences without parole for the bombings of abortion clinics in Atlanta and Birmingham (where a security guard was killed and a nurse critically injured), as well as a lesbian and gay nightclub and the Atlanta Olympic Park. After Rudolph eluded capture for five years, prosecutors waived the death penalty when he pled guilty to the four bombings and disclosed the location of 250 pounds of explosives he had hidden in North Carolina. Many have speculated that he worked with several accomplices, though no other convictions have been made.
Through its National Clinic Access Project, the Feminist Majority Foundation works to defend women’s health clinics. Currently, senior field organizers are preparing to head to Wichita and Birmingham to help embattled women’s health clinics.