Pregnancy Center Learned of Anthrax Threats on LifeNews.com
by Steven Ertelt
November 24, 2003
Philadelphia, PA (LifeNews.com) — The trial against alleged anthrax hoax terrorist Clayton Waagner continued on Friday. A staff member of a Pennsylvania pregnancy center that received an anthrax threat first learned of Waagner’s exploits on LifeNews.com.
Waagner claims to oppose abortion and allegedly sent dozens of letters containing white power to abortion facilities and organizations nationwide. The letters contained threats and claimed the power was that containing the deadly anthrax virus.
However, at least one crisis pregnancy center, that helps women find alternatives to abortion, received the threat.
In October 2001, the North Penn Pregnancy Counseling Center in Lansdale, Pennsylvania received a letter that contained a powdery white substance.
The letter was immediately sealed in a plastic bag and left on a desk. Employees evacuated the building and called police. Police, firefighters, county officials and the hazardous materials team arrived to secure the envelope and clean up the spill.
Before the pregnancy center received the threat, Waagner had already mailed threats to many abortion businesses.
Employee Denise Orlowski, who opened the letter, says she first heard of the anthrax hoaxes on the Pro-Life Infonet, which is now the LifeNews.com news organization.
"So you’re familiar with my name as a radical who fights to stop abortion?" Waagner, who is serving as his own attorney, asked Orlowski.
Orlowski replied, "I believe we both can agree that abortion is murder, but I don’t agree with the methods the Army of God uses."
Both Orlowski and center director Leslie Anne Patkos testified how they lived in fear until they learned that the white powder was not anthrax. It took two days before they learned they were not infected.
Other agencies that are not abortion businesses received anthrax hoaxes as well.
Waagner is charged with 79 counts of offense including threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction, grand theft auto, escape from prison, violating the Freedom of Access to Clinics law, extortion, and mailing threatening communications.
Patkos said the center has helped women facing unplanned pregnancies since 1984 and provides free and confidential services including peer counseling on pregnancy options.