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Club Owner’s Brother Developed Late-Term Abortion Method But She Doesn’t Think Bombing Related To His Work On Partial Birth Procedure

The owner of a bombed gay nightclub had a doctor brother who was well known for pioneering a method of performing late-term abortions.

Dr. James T. McMahon, who died in 1995, taught obstetrics and gynecology in Los Angeles and was among a few doctors who regularly performed the controversial late-term abortions in the United States. He testified about his technique before Congress two years ago.

Federal agents said they would look into his connection to Beverly McMahon, owner of The Otherside Lounge. A nail-laden bomb exploded at the club Friday, injuring five people. McMahon said she doesn’t believe her club was bombed because of her brother.

In 1983, McMahon developed an abortion method called intact dilation and extraction, referred by abortion opponents as partial-birth abortion.

The FBI, meanwhile, is looking into a letter that purports to be from a group called the Army of God, claiming responsibility for the bombing and for the two blasts at an Atlanta abortion clinic in January.

The letter was mailed to several news organizations Saturday and turned over to the FBI on Monday. FBI spokesman Jay Spadafore would not comment on the letter’s authenticity.

It was one of two claims of responsibility for the nightclub bombing. The other was a message left Saturday on voice mail at the Phoenix-based Gay Community Yellow Pages that claimed the “Sons of Confederate Klan, S.O.C.K., a new neo-Nazi KKK organization from Los Angeles” had bombed the nightclub.

Federal agents were examining the message, which made no mention of the attacks last month on the abortion clinic.

Some terrorism experts were skeptical about the taped message.

“This is a group we haven’t heard of before,” said Brian Levin, director of the Center on Hate and Extremism at Richard Stockton College in Pomona, N.J. “They didn’t leave a lengthy explanation of why they might have done it. It sounded as though this person was committing a hoax.”

Morris Dees, a civil rights lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center of Montgomery, Ala., said: “It sounded like a name someone made up.”