Federal prosecutors say a homeless man charged on Thursday with the New Year’s Day firebombing of a family planning clinic targeted by near-daily protests had acted out of “strong disbelief” in abortion and stood by just long enough to see crackling, popping flames spread.
Bobby Joe Rogers, 41, has been charged with one count of damaging a building by fire or explosive and was being held at a Florida Panhandle jail after the blaze early Sunday gutted the American Family Planning clinic in Pensacola. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Rogers told investigators he intentionally set the fire around New Year’s Eve using a firebomb fashioned from a gasoline-filled beer bottle that used an old shirt as a wick. No one was hurt in the fire.
According to the affidavit, Rogers told investigators he had an aversion to abortion and said he had recently witnessed an anti-abortion protest near the clinic that further prompted his actions. “Rogers admitted to intentionally setting fire to the clinic due to his strong disbelief in abortion,” the affidavit stated, and “he stated (he) was further fueled when he recently witnessed a young female entering the clinic while he was sitting amongst anti-abortion protesters.”
And how is this not being covered as a case of domestic terrorism? According to the Washington Post, the clinic was bombed on Christmas Day in 1984, and a doctor and a volunteer who escorted patients to and from the clinic were killed as they arrived to work in 1994… Pensacola was also the site of other abortion-related terrorism in 1993 when Dr. David Gunn was shot and killed at another clinic by an abortion protester.
It’s terrorism, plain and simple.