Advocates of Abortion-Related Violence Get Day in Court

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 27, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Advocates of Abortion-Related Violence Get Day in Court

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 27, 2003

Washington, DC ( — It’s been a problem for years. Pro-life advocates do everything possible to get the press to focus on aspects of the abortion debate that are most important — such the abortion drug death of a young woman in California or the gruesomeness of the partial-birth abortion procedure. However, three people who have allegedly participated in or advocated violence related to abortion are monopolizing the media’s attention.

In Atlanta, Eric Robert Rudolph, who is charged with bombing a Birmingham abortion facility as well as the Olympics and a gay nightclub, is in the middle of his trial.

Prosecutors are attempting to obtain copies of recordings of phone calls Rudolph has made while he is in jail. Rudolph’s defense attorneys claim it shows the government has no solid case against Rudolph, who was at the top of the FBI’s most wanted list while on the run in North Carolina.

Although Rudolph has no ties to the pro-life community and is suspected of planting the bombs as a member of a fringe religious group, that hasn’t stopped some news agencies from labeling him as "anti-abortion" — in the same manner they would for pro-life groups.

Meanwhile, the attorney who defended the Unabomber and Susan Smith, who killed her children as she drove her car into a lake, has now joined Rudolph’s defense team.

In Florida, a man who is accused of attempting to assemble parts for a bomb to use against Miami-area abortion facilities is pleading innocent to the plot.

Stephen Jordi is described as a "Christian fundamentalist" though he too sympathizes with the same religious sect that Rudolph did and quit his membership in a Baptist church when the pastors told him abortion-related violence was immoral and not a Biblical position.

Jordi, who is also not affiliated with any pro-life organization, has said he too wants to bomb gay nightclubs as well as churches that disagree with him.

Finally, Clayton Waager has commanded media attention in Pennsylvania. Prosecutors say he is responsible for a flood of anthrax hoax letters sent to abortion businesses across the country.

He is called "anti-abortion" as well by media outlets despite the fact that many of his letters went to places other than abortion facilities. In fact, staff at a crisis pregnancy center in Pennsylvania, who were forced to close temporarily after receiving a hoax letter, rebuked Waagner during his trial saying they did not agree with Waagner’s methods.

Pro-life groups hope the media will continue to focus on the stories that matter most and the people that are affected — people such as Holly Patterson, Terri Schiavo, Laci Peterson, Brian Finkel, and others.