Eric Rudolph Sentenced to Life in Prison for Abortion Bombing

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 18, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Eric Rudolph Sentenced to Life in Prison for Abortion Bombing Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 18, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Eric Robert Rudolph was sentenced to life in prison on Monday for bombing an abortion business in Birmingham in 1998. Rudolph has no connection to the pro-life movement and also bombed the Atlanta Olympics and a gay nightclub to draw attention to his anti-government views.

During the sentencing hearing, a nurse who worked at the abortion facility described Rudolph as a "monster" and said he should have been sentenced to death.

"The full responsibility for this would have been the death sentence,” said Emily Lyons, who now travels around the country raising money for pro-abortion groups.

During the hearing, Rudolph blasted legalized abortion, but Lyons noted that the Birmingham abortion facility is open for business and said his actions didn’t close it down for good.

Rudolph will be sentenced to two additional life terms in late August for his role in the Atlanta bombings, which killed one person and injured more than 100 others. He refuses to apologize for planting the bomb at the Birmingham abortion business, which killed security guard Robert Sanderson and injured Lyons.

Felicia Sanderson, Robert’s widow, agreed with Lyons about favoring the death penalty and told the courtroom that "there is no punishment in my opinion great enough for Eric Rudolph," according to an AP report.

Jim Pinto, a local pro-life leader in Birmingham, says Rudolph is out of step with the pro-life community.

"Let us be clear once and for all that he was never pro-life," Pinto said.

Rudolph’s actions "made it clear that he was in no way associated with the pro-life movement except that his actions were the direct opposite of it," Pinto, founder of Sanctity of Life Ministries, explained.

"We renounce violence in thought, word and deed and proclaim the sacredness and dignity of every human being from the moment of conception until natural death," Pinto added. "This sacredness and dignity of the human person extends to all people in and out of the womb, friend and foe alike."

Letters obtained by USA Today show Rudolph seeks his mother’s forgiveness for his actions, but he’s not interested in listening to those who hope to convert him to Christianity.

The national newspaper published a series of letters Rudolph has written, including one to his mother expressing his concern that she has to endure ridicule because of his actions.

"And even though I cannot apologize for being who I am and expressing myself in the way that I did, it troubles me greatly that you had to experience any hardships because of my deeds,” he tells his mother, 77 year-old Pat Rudolph of Florida.

Rudolph has previously written a manifesto saying he has no regrets about the bombings, meant to display his frustration with the federal government. The USA Today-published letters show he hasn’t changed his mind.

"Perhaps I should have found a peaceful outlet for my opposition to the government in Washington: maybe I should have been a lawyer and fought (for) decency in the face of this rotten system; perhaps I could have taken up teaching and sought to inculcate a healthy outlook in a decidedly unhealthy society,” he writes. "But I didn’t do any of these things, and I resorted to force to have my voice heard."