Follow-Up Probe Criticized Into Bomb That May Have Targeted Pro-Lifer

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 30, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Follow-Up Probe Criticized Into Bomb That May Have Targeted Pro-Lifer

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
September 30, 2003

Denver, CO ( — Some pro-life activists in Colorado are questioning whether law enforcement authorities in Denver are doing all they can to determine who was responsible for an August bombing directed at pro-lifers.

"I’m sure that this is low on their priority list," said Jo Scott, a pro-life sidewalk counselor who was present when the bomb went off outside a Denver Planned Parenthood abortion facility August 26.

"Just the fact that it took the FBI a month to come to the scene gives one reason to wonder," Scott said. "Think about it, if that bomb had been thrown at Planned Parenthood, the FBI would have been on the scene immediately and it would have made national news."

The explosion occurred when a plastic bottle containing a chemical mixture erupted. While no one was hurt, the chemical mixture was of a nature which could have caused serious burns for anyone who might have come into contact with it.

Following the incident, Scott’s husband told that pro-life sidewalk counselors, rather than Planned Parenthood employees, appeared to have been the target of the homemade bomb.

"It sounded like an M80," Ken Scott said. "As Jo returned to her van she noticed something had exploded on the ground just behind it."

The explosion caused damage to the Scotts’ van, melting the upholstery and ceiling liner in places and burning holes into the rug.

At the time, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains said that the incident did not stop abortions from occurring at the center. But at least two people were kept from their abortion appointments by the presence of police and emergency personnel.

NARAL, the pro-abortion lobbying group, keeps track of incidents of violence directed against abortion centers and those who perform abortions. Such incidents often receive widespread media attention, even though they are relatively rare and are roundly condemned by mainstream pro-life organizations.

However, it is much more difficult to determine the number of incidents of violence that have been directed against pro-life groups and individual activists, since such incidents seldom receive the kind of media attention given to violence directed against abortion centers.

In one noteworthy case of violence directed against a pro-life leader, an incendiary device was apparently planted in the automobile driven by the former lobbyist for Ohio Right to Life, Janet Folger, in the 1990s. Folger was not hurt in the incident, but her car was damaged. In other cases, pro-life leaders have received death threats in connection with their work against abortion.

As for Jo Scott, the resilient pro-life activist says that the Denver bombing has not interrupted her pro-life work.

"The incident has not affected our pro-life work at all, other than the time it takes to talk to the authorities. I’m cautious, but I’m not afraid, and, after 25 years on the street, there is little that would affect me in that way," Scott said. However, Scott adds, "I am not at all confident that the authorities are taking the incident seriously."

The FBI’s Denver office did not respond to’s request for an interview and a spokesman for the Denver Police Department declined an opportunity to comment on the case.