Anti-abortion extremist Eric Robert Rudolph was sentenced yesterday to four consecutive life terms in prison plus 120 years without parole for bombings of an abortion clinic, a lesbian and gay nightclub, and the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Rudolph was also sentenced last month to two consecutive life sentences without parole for the bombing of a women’s health clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. In total, Rudolph has been ordered to pay $3.5 million in restitution to victims of his bombings.
Rudolph read a statement at yesterday’s sentencing hearing apologizing for the Olympic Park bombing, which killed one woman and injured 111 people, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His apology did not mention his other Atlanta bombings, which injured 11 people.
“We are glad to see closure in the Eric Robert Rudolph case,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “However, we are concerned that law enforcement has never charged any other suspects with aiding Rudolph either in planning or carrying out these bombings or in eluding capture for five years. A drawing of a second possible suspect for the Atlanta clinic was circulated widely at the time but no one was ever charged.” The Army of God, a network of anti-abortion extremists who promote violence against abortion providers and are suspected in clinic bombings and attempted assassinations and the murder of abortion providers, clamed credit for the Atlanta abortion clinic and lesbian nightclub bombings. “Experts now know so much more about terrorist organizations,” Smeal continued. “A lone wolf theory is entirely inconsistent with such knowledge.”
The Feminist Majority Foundation, through its National Clinic Access Project, works with law enforcement, tracks and researches anti-abortion extremists, and pursues litigation strategies to bring violent extremists like Rudolph to justice and end violence against women’s health clinics.
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