ATLANTA (BP)–Southern Baptists joined other pro-life groups in denouncing violence as an alternative to fighting abortion on demand after a suburban Atlanta professional building was bombed Jan. 16. The building houses, among other offices, the Atlanta Northside Family Planning Services facilities, an abortion clinic.
“It is never permissible to do an evil thing for any ostensibly good or redeeming motive,” said Richard D. Land, president of the Christian Life Commission. “Pro-life Christians everywhere should condemn people who seek to take the law into their own hands and put other people’s lives at risk.”
The first of two bombs exploded without warning about 9:30 a.m. just outside the offices of the abortion clinic on the southwest side of the building. Sixty-five minutes later, when the area was teeming with police, firemen, federal agents, news reporters and cameramen, a second bomb erupted near a metal trash bin adjacent to the parking lot on the northwest side of the building. No one was hurt in the first bomb blast. The second explosion injured seven people, none critically.
The clinic only receives patients on certain days and Thursday was not one of those. Only three employees were in the first-floor clinic when the bomb exploded. If it had been a clinic day, there would have been 15 to 20 employees on hand as well as patients.
“The violence demonstrated toward the abortion clinic and those who were victims is deplorable,” said Carmen Pate, vice president and spokesperson for Concerned Women for America. “Our hope is that the individual responsible will be found and punished to the full extent of the law.” CWA works through grassroots efforts to protect life at all stages, from conception to natural death.
“The National Right to Life Committee opposes any use of violence as a means of stopping the violence that has killed more than 35 million unborn children since 1973,” said David N. O’Steen, NRLC director. “The goal of NRLC is to break the cycle of violence which includes abortion, not perpetuate it.” The National Right to Life Committee describes itself as involved in peaceful, legal activities to protect human lives threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia.
No one has claimed responsibility for the bombings, and authorities assume the clinic was the target of the first explosion. Authorities feel the second bomb was intended for anybody responding to the first bomb. They will not address whether the second bomb was timed or may have been detonated remotely.
“If this bombing is proved to have been done by people identifying themselves as pro-life,” Land said, “they need to be repudiated by the pro-life movement and they need to know their actions harm and not help the true pro-life cause.”