Violent decades surround burned abortion clinic - BusinessWeek
An abortion clinic that burned here New Year’s Day has been in the crosshairs of the anti-abortion movement for decades: the scene of bombings, shootings and other violence.
Things calmed down in the past 15 years, save for the near-daily protesters who carried anti-abortion signs, Bibles and white crosses as they marched outside of the unassuming, two-story grey building. Yet once again, the clinic is encircled by yellow police tape.
Authorities said the fire was suspicious and they are investigating whether it was intentionally set. So far, they have said only that the blaze started in some bushes near the back of the American Family Planning building. No one was injured.
The clinic had been undergoing renovations. Paint and other flammable materials were on site. The chemicals have hampered the investigation.
Speculation about what happened started almost as soon as the fire began.
“The thing about that clinic that is remarkable to me is that there are the repeated violent acts going back 30 years,” said Thomas Blomberg, dean of Florida State University’s college of criminology. “There is apparently some fringe group in Pensacola that takes great exception to the clinic. I cannot think of another place that has had repeated acts of violence like this.