by Steven Ertelt
July 5, 2005
West Palm Beach, FL (LifeNews.com) — A fire damaged a southern Florida abortion facility late Monday night, prompting federal officials to began an investigation today. FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are joining local officials to determined what started the fire at the Presidential Women’s Clinic abortion business.
No one was injured in the incident and details of what was damaged or how much repairs would cost were not immediately available.
Local fire department spokesman Phil Kaplan told the Associated Press that it appeared lighter fluid or some other accelerant was used to grow the blaze.
In July 2004, a fire was started at the WomanCare Center abortion facility in Lake Worth, Florida. No one was injured in that blaze, though the building was destroyed.
Rich Giesman of Palm Beach County Right to Life said his group opposes such actions.
"For us, it’s about conversion. It’s not about doing damage to property," Giesman said.
Owner Tammy Sobieski eventually relocated that center to the West Palm Beach area, but she was recently evicted from her building after apparently misrepresenting the business to its landlords. According to a local pro-life advocate, she told owners of the building it rented that it would not be performing abortions.
On June 16, the WomanCare abortion business was evicted from its 750 S. Military Trail offices, it’s third location in the past few years.
Susan Pine, president of local pro-life organization FACE Life, said "my understanding [is] that WomanCare misrepresented themselves to the property owner in order to secure the location."
"Although WomanCare is an abortion center, they made no statements to the fact that they perform abortions," Pine added.
According to Pine, Sobieski also has an abortion facility she operates in Cocoa, Florida and she has closed down that business as well. Pine says Sobieski was required to notify the property owner by June 19 of her intent to renew her lease and she didn’t do so.
Sobieski estimates up to 5,000 women visit the abortion facility each year.