Violent attacks against abortion clinics continued to escalate in December. Letter bombs were mailed to clinics in Oregon and Ohio. Two clinics in Cincinnati received such extensive damage in firebomb attacks that they were forced to close.
In New York, a small bomb went off in a rest room at the Manhattan Women's Medical Center. One person was in the clinic when the bomb exploded. A caller had warned officials to evacuate the building. The City of New York has offered a $10,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.
Dr. Martin Haskell, who owns one of the Cincinnati clinics, said: "Whoever did this is crazy. The rhetoric of these groups can motivate a crazy person to violence. Maybe someone who heard one of their speeches that abortionists have to be stopped decided to become the savior for the group."
One of the clinics firebombed had recently been the site of picketing by a no-choice group. On December 28, Roman Catholic Bishop John McGann lead a march of 100 priests, nuns, and several thousand parishioners in front of Bill Baird's facility in Hempstead, New York. The march was for "the Feast of the Holy Innocent and King Herod's slaughter of the babies."
"The struggle is getting fiercer and fiercer," Baird told The Freedom Writer. Baird stated that most Americans are oblivious to the "religious war" being waged over a woman's right to use birth control or have an abortion. "I think most of this nation is fast asleep," Baird said. "Sixty-two clinics have been blown up. Hundreds and hundreds have been invaded by anti-abortion people."
Baird said the nation must "stand up to these religious bullies and say once and for all, 'We demand a right to be free and we demand a right to birth control and the right to have an abortion without the interference of the Moral Majority or the Roman Catholic church.'"
History has taught us that religious fanatics will stop at nothing in the name of God. Although a vocal, and often violent, segment of these religious fanatics continue to force their theological views on the rest of society, the majority of Americans remain pro-choice on the issue.