Late last week, a federal grand jury charged Bobby Joe Rogers, a homeless man, with destroying the American Family Planning Clinic in Pensacola, Florida, in a firebombing on January 1. Rogers, an opponent of abortion, admitted to purposely setting fire to the clinic and has been charged with arson and damaging a reproductive health facility.
If convicted, Rogers could serve up to 20 years in prison.
The Pensacola clinic site has experienced numerous incidents of violence throughout its history. In 1984, the clinic, which was known as The Ladies Center at the time under previous ownership, 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.
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. No one was injured in the January 2012 fire.
Media Sources: National Partnership for Women & Families 2/27/12; Associated Press 2/23/12, 1/5/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/3/12