Copyright © 1997 AFLM
July/August, 1997 Volume XII Number 7 - IN THE NATION
Lovejoy abortuary torched
Portland, OR -- In the early morning hours of May 24, a 9-1-1 call alerted Portland firefighters to a blaze at 933 SW 25th -- the infamous Lovejoy Surgicenter abortuary.
Firefighters arrived quickly but the interior had already sustained significant damage.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) followed quickly to the scene.
Outside, in the parking lot, was a dark blue Chevrolet Citation with a 55-gallon drum and a hose leading down into the first story of the building. Authorities would not identify the contents of the drum.
The conflagration followed on the heels of several threatening phone calls to Lovejoy and other Northwest abortion clinics. The calls were easily traced because they had been made to the toll-free 800 numbers for the clinics. They were placed by an Eastern Oregon juvenile who, it was soon determined, was not connected to the blaze. Early reports claimed that the calls may have been associated with the "militia" evaporated.
The "lead" on the car dried up as quickly. The registered owner, Clayton J. Barnett, Jr., 41, of Portland had sold the car on May 5 to a man he only remembers as tall and white. He was given two $100 bills for the vehicle.
The clinic reopened its doors on May 27, three days later, but it was doubtful that they were open for "business as usual." Damage to Lovejoy has been estimated between $300,000 and $400,000 from this blaze. Clinic representatives claimed that "all" the abortions which had been scheduled for the day of the fire had been performed at another location.
"Abortionists say this kind of stuff all the time," said Paul deParrie of Advocates for Life Ministries. "Then they want to sue someone for 'lost business.'"
Lovejoy is the state's largest abortion provider and gained national attention when it sued three dozen rescuers for $12.5 million dollars. The clinic was also the subject of a recent book, Lovejoy: A Year in the Life of an Abortion Clinic by Peter Korn.
Lovejoy has had fires twice before. Once by a transient who, for reasons unknown, caused about $25,000 damage. He was sentenced to 60 days. and a second attempt was made by Shelley Shannon, shooter of Wichita abortionist George Tiller, which did only about $2,000 damage.