Yesterday federal officials arrested Bobby Joe Rogers for allegedly starting a fire on Sunday the American Family Planning clinic in Pensacola, Florida. Rogers faces charges of one count of damaging a building by fire or explosive. He could spend up to 20 years in prison, if he is convicted.
The clinic is owned by Dr. Steven Brigham, who also owns clinics in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Maryland. Brigham was arrested on Wednesday, December 28, in New Jersey for allegedly killing two viable fetuses. Dr. Nicola Riley was also arrested on similar charges in Salt Lake City. Both doctors were indicted by a grand jury in Cecil County, Maryland and await extradition hearings in Maryland.
The Pensacola clinic site has experienced numerous incidents of violence throughout its history. In 1984, the clinic, which under previous ownership at the time was known as the Ladies Center, was bombed on June 25 and on Christmas day, when it was totally destroyed. The clinic was also invaded in 1986 and several anti-abortion extremists were arrested and given prison sentences. Additionally, in 1994, Dr. John Britton and James Barrett, a clinic escort, were murdered by anti-abortion extremist Paul Hill outside the clinic. Hill later received the death penalty for his role in the killings.
National Partnership for Women and Families 1/6/12; Associated Press 1/5/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/3/12