Fire Destroys St. Petersburg Abortion Clinic

Fire struck the St. Petersburg’s All Women’s Health Center yesterday at approximately 8:30 p.m. The fire, which destroyed the entire building, is the second fire the center has experienced within the past eight days. Officials have concluded that arson was the cause of the first fire and suspect it is the cause of the second fire, though no arrest have yet been made. The suspected arson fires that destroyed the Center is the latest indication that violence against abortion clinics and abortions providers has not abated.

It is vitally important that the Justice Department investigate any and all connections between the individuals and groups that make up the radical fringe of the anti-abortion movement. Florida has been and continues to be a hotbed of anti-abortion violence, having been the site of the murder of two abortion providers, Dr. Gunn and Dr. Britton, and a volunteer escort, James Barrett. Investigation of any links between these and other acts of anti-abortion violence is critical to curbing that violence.

The violence will not stop until all those involved in these acts are brought to justice. We urge the Justice Department to continue to pursue the possibility that an unlawful conspiracy of anti-abortion extremists exists in this country.


Commentary by Eleanor Smeal

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