Eugenics & Contraception, part 23

This post includes stories of terrorism and murder. 

The American anti contraception and abortion movement got organized, and violent, in the 1980s. Attacks on property, violent threats, bombings, kidnapping and even murder were deemed justified by the nearly all male, all Christian terrorist groups that sprang up. One of the most violent of these was (and is) the Army of God. 

In August 1982 three Mormon male members of Army of God kidnapped obstetrician and clinic owner Dr. Hector Zevallos and his wife Rosalee Jean and held them for eight days. One of the kidnappers had attempted to burn down two Florida clinics in May 1982, prior to the Illinois abduction, as well as bombing a third clinic in Virginia. They forced Dr. Zevallos to read an anti abortion statement which they recorded, with a plan of sending the tape to then-President Reagan. 

The first clinic arson (1976 in Oregon) and first clinic bombings (1978 in Ohio) preceded the 1982 formation of Army of God, but the Army was the first organized body to openly endorse these and more violent tactics in the Army of God Manual. In  1983, a Pentecostal man broke into a Virginia clinic, dousing the floor with kerosene before setting it ablaze. He claimed he was inspired by the Army of God. 

A Roman Catholic man who was a frequent picketer outside an Everett, Washington clinic set fire to it three times, and to another clinic once, between December 1983 and April 1984. In January 1984 a Delaware clinic was destroyed after a Molotov cocktail was thrown through a window. In February a clinic in Maryland was the target of another arson attack. 

In May 1984 a Benedictine monk destroyed equipment at a Birmingham, Alabama clinic on Mother’s Day. The next month on Father’s Day he forced his way into a Huntsville, Alabama clinic to splash red paint on everything. He broke a neck vertebra of clinic worker Kathryn Wood. 

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