A man accused of bombing a Pensacola abortion clinic last month might not be an anti-abortion crusader, as many had originally thought.
Bobby Joe Rogers, a 41-year-old homeless man, has been accused of setting fire to American Family Planning clinic on New Year’s Eve by filling a beer bottle with gas and using a shirt as a wick.
Though the clinic has a long history of being ground zero for anti-abortion extremists, Rogers himself might not be one of them. According to a motion requesting a mental-health evaluation of Rogers, he has been diagnosed with both paranoid schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
According to the motion, which was granted by Magistrate Elizabeth Timothy, ”undersigned counsel believes that there is clearly reasonable cause to believe that Rogers may not be mentally competent.”
As previously reported by the Independent, the same clinic has been the site of controversy for nearly 30 years, and was also the site of a 1984 bombing and the 1994 murder of abortion practitioner Dr. John Britton.
The doctor, along with a volunteer who escorted patients to and from the clinic, were shot to death as they arrived at the clinic in July 1994. At the time, the clinic was known as the Pensacola Ladies Center. The gunman, Paul Hill, was executed in 2003.
On Christmas Eve 1984, two 21-year-old men placed a bomb in a crawl space beneath the bottom floor of the center. The men also detonated bombs at two other Florida abortion clinics on the same night. The fiancée of one of the men later explained to reporters that the bombs were to be “a gift to Jesus on His birthday.”Tags: abortion, abortion clinic bomber, American Family Planning Clinic, Bobby Joe Rogers, Florida, florida abortion clinic bomber, john britton, new year's eve abortion clinic bombing florida, paul hill, pensacola, reproductive rights