Incident Summary:

2/18/1978: A male posing as a deliveryman walked into the Concerned Women's Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. The perpetrator threw a bag containing gasoline at the abortion clinic's receptionist, temporarily blinding her. The perpetrator proceeded to spread gasoline throughout the facility, subsequently igniting a fire within the facility. There were no other casualties but the abortion clinic sustained $100,000 in damages.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Abortion Related
Name of Entity
Specific Description Concerned Women's Clinic
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage $100,000.00
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Gasoline or Alcohol
Weapon Details
Gasoline used as a projectile. Also, gasoline was spread throughout the facility and ignited with a match.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information Three days earlier the same abortion facility was vandalized. Within a two month period, there were three other attacks against abortion facilities in Ohio. (197801080005, 197802000006, and 197803010017)
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Anti-Abortion extremists No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 1 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 1
Number of U.S. Injured 1
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Ohio Officials Seek Link in Abortion Clinic Fires," New York Times, February 21, 1978.
Richard Boeth, Mary Lord, and Deborah Witherspoon, "Abortion: Getting Violent," Newsweek, March 13, 1978.
Herman Herst Jr., "Violence Enters Debate Over Abortion," Boca Raton News, May 15, 1978.