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Abortion Clinic Fire Was Arson

July 3, 1989

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ A deliberately set blaze caused minor damage to an abortion clinic Monday eight hours before the U.S. Supreme Court announced its ruling limiting the right to an abortion, authorities said.

Police said they were notifying federal authorities because of the circumstances.

″Where it’s at a feminist health center and there’s been this nationwide thing involving them (abortion clinics), we felt that we should notify them,″ said Jim Moran, director of investigations for the Concord police.

Fire officials received an alarm at 2:20 a.m., said Capt. Jack Davis, fire prevention officer. The fire, confined to a bookcase in one room in the unoccupied building, was put out with a portable extinguisher, officials said.

″The case was incendiary, meaning it was intentionally set,″ said Davis. Moran said there was a hole in a window near where the fire began.

Patty Baum, who works at the center, said she believes abortion opponents were responsible.

″They say they’re so peaceful and pro-life, yet they’re willing to destroy buildings and risk lives. There potentially could have been someone in there,″ she told the Concord Monitor.

But Russell Pond, director of the New Hampshire Pro-Life Council, called it irresponsible to cast blame before anyone is caught.

″It could have been set by those who want to cast a bad light on the pro- life movement,″ he said.

A number of arrests were made earlier this year at the clinic, which is a frequent target of anti-abortion picketing.

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