The former director of an aboriton business in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was sentenced to five years probation for falsely reporting a bomb threat to authorities.
Linda Meek, the director of the Reproductive Services abortion center, pleaded guilty in October to charges of making false or misleading statements after telling police she supposedly found a bomb at the facility.
Meek reported on August 13 that a bomb had been placed in a trash receptacle, but she told the court in October she purchased an egg timer and place that in a trash bin and called the local police to report a bomb scare. Officials took the threat seriously and the abortion center and a building adjacent to it were evacuated.
KJRH indicates Meek was sentenced today to five years prohabion due to her role in the incedent. Meek, 63, eventually left her position with the abortion business after the false report.
U.S. Chief District Judge Claire Eagan accepted the October plea and Meek remained free on bond until the sentencing hearing today.
According to the Tulsa Beacon newspaper, Meek waived her right to have the case presented to a federal grand jury early last month and waived her right to a jury trial. She did not provide the court with a reason for engaging in the false bomb threat and her attorney, the newspaper indicated, asked the court for leniency, saying “nobody was ever in danger.”
Documents filed with the U.S. District Court in Tulsa determined that a “suspicious” box found in the trash was harmless.
Tulsa Police Officer Leland Ashley told the Tulsa World, “She told us that the box in the trash can didn’t look like trash the clinic usually throws away in that trash can,” but would not confirm reports that Meek told officials she heard the package “ticking.”
AP interviewed pro-life advocates who said they believe Meek was trying to make it appear they were responsible in order to get the pro-life side bad press in the media and have authorities focus on them.
Rep. Mike Ritze, a Republican state legislator, said the bomb scare is part of what he considers a growing trend of abortion advocates trying to make pro-life people appear violent or extremist.
“Either she did it maliciously to harm the opposition or is trying to draw attention away from the abortion industry,” the doctor and legislator said.
Tony Lauinger, chairman of Oklahomans for Life and vice president of the National Right to Life Committee, said he thought “there was an apparent rush to judgment” on the part of Meek and abortion advocates.
Planned Parenthood of Oklahoma City chief executive Anita Fream said she couldn’t comment on the bomb scare but denied any policy attempting to ridicule pro-life people.
Reproductive Services has frequently taken state laws to limit abortions to court in an attempt to have them overturned.