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Woman Who Set Abortion Clinic on Fire Sentenced to 5 Years by Judge

A judge Thursday handed down the minimum prison sentence of five years to a woman who set fire to what was to be Wyoming’s first full-service abortion clinic in at least a decade, according to the Los Angeles Times. Lorna Roxanne Green, 22, was sentenced to five years in prison and three years probation by a judge who cited emotional and physical abuse by parents who expected her to someday play a “supporting role” in her own life in deference to a future husband. In addition, Green will have to pay “very, very substantial” restitution that is yet to be determined but will be “well over $280,000,” U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson said. Green said little at the hearing but, through her attorney, told the court that she acted alone, accepted responsibility, and didn’t intend to cause fear or make a political statement but that she failed to handle her strong emotions about the Wellspring Health Access in Casper, Wyo. The fire delayed the clinic’s opening by almost a year. “You are a talented and gifted person,” Johnson told her. “You are entitled to your opinions, whatever they may be, but those opinions do not justify in any respect the terror that was caused.”


Green told investigators that she opposed abortion and that anxiety and nightmares about the clinic caused her to burn it. Johnson urged Green to get treatment for her obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression, which were described in a “lengthy report” from a psychologist. “You are a complex person,” Johnson told her. The judge related details from pre-sentencing reports about her now-distant relationship with “helicopter” parents after a childhood in which she was regularly spanked up to age 18. Her mother once struck and gave her sister a bloody nose, Johnson said, referring to the documents. Green experienced “emotional and physical abuse” and “control and manipulation by her parents,” who “talked down” to her, Johnson said. Green admitted to breaking in, pouring gasoline around the inside of the building, and lighting it on fire, according to court documents. The arson was one of hundreds against abortion clinics in the U.S. since the 1970s, said Julie Burkhart, Wellspring’s founder and president. The clinic, which opened in April, provides surgical and pill abortions, making it the first of its kind in Wyoming in at least a decade. Only one other clinic in the state, in Jackson, provides abortions, and only by pill.

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