The FBI announced yesterday that it is investigating fires that they believe are acts of arson at two women’s health clinics in Georgia. No injuries were reported in either fire. Law enforcement has not yet named a suspect.
“We’re quite alarmed about the fires, as we have already seen an escalation in violence directed against abortion providers since the first of this year, starting with an arson on New Year’s Day at a clinic in Pensacola, Florida,” said Katherine Spillar, who leads the National Clinic Access Project of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “What’s more, an Atlanta area doctor who is an abortion provider has been recently the target of WANTED-style flyers distributed by extremists, and several have been stalked at their homes,” continued Spillar.
A staff member at one of the clinics vowed to continue to treat patients. She told reporters, “we’re going to have stricter surveillance, and we’re just going to keep treating patients with respect and dignity. Their end result will be the penitentiary, and ours will be maintaining patients and taking care of them.”
The National Abortion Federation reports that last year there were 114 attacks against abortion providers, “including three physicals assaults, one bombing, one incident of arson, 27 counts of vandalism and eight burglaries.”
Public Prodcasting Atlanta 5/24/12; Huffington Post 5/24/12; Associated Press 5/24/12; Atlanta Journal-Constitution 5/23/12; Feminist Daily News Wire 4/2/12