Denver Newsroom, May 27, 2022 / 12:39 pm
Pro-life organizations and Catholic church buildings continue to be targeted with arson and graffiti attacks, incidents which began in earnest earlier this month after a leaked draft opinion suggested that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade and return the question of abortion policy to the states.
In the latest reported incident, a Seattle-area crisis pregnancy center was tagged with graffiti and vandalized in the early morning hours of May 25. In addition to the red paint, at least five of the front windows of Next Step Pregnancy Center in Lynnwood, Washington were smashed.
Security video footage shared online by a local radio host shows a lone person dressed in black, spray painting the slogans “Jane’s revenge” and “If abortions aren’t safe, you aren’t either.”
The Next Step center provides free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, counseling, post-abortive support, pregnancy loss support, and adoption information, according to its website.
“I believe that we were targeted because a lot of people, including maybe that person, are very misinformed and misguided about what really goes on in a pregnancy resource clinic,” Heather Vasquez, director of the center, told local radio host Jason Rantz.
“I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about what’s really happening here. But none of them ever want to come in and, you know, be with us and see what happens day to day.”
The center has stayed open and continued its work despite the damage, and Lynnwood police have opened a case on the incident, Fox News reported.
The latest spate of attacks on pregnancy centers began with an incident at the headquarters of Wisconsin Family Action, an organization that advocates for the unborn, marriage, and religious liberty, which were set on fire May 8. “A molotov cocktail, which did not ignite, was thrown inside the building. It also appears a separate fire was started in response,” a police report said.
Graffiti left outside the building, located on the north side of Madison, Wisconsin, said, “If abortions aren’t safe than you aren’t either” — matching the graffiti left in Washington.
A group called “Jane’s Revenge” reportedly claimed responsibility for the Wisconsin attack.
That same evening, Oregon Right to Life reported that Molotov cocktails were thrown at the organization’s offices in Keizer, igniting a small fire. The fire was quickly put out and no one was hurt.
Since then, there have been several other notable attacks. In Denton, Texas, near Dallas, two women’s resource centers, Woman to Woman Resource Center and Loreto House, were vandalized over the May 7-8 weekend. The buildings were spray painted with slogans such as “Forced birth is murder” and “Not a clinic.”
In Maryland, the Alpha Pregnancy Center in Reisterstown, northwest of Baltimore, suffered spray-painted threats May 14 including “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you,” “Not a clinic,” and “You’re anti-choice and not pro-life.” Those messages were also signed as being from “Jane’s Revenge.”
Other incidents have been reported at pro-life centers in Frederick, Maryland and Alexandria, Virginia.
Catholic church buildings have been targeted too.
St. John XXIII parish in Fort Collins, about an hour north of Denver, was tagged with graffiti in the early morning of May 7, police said. “My Body My Choice” and a symbol that appears to be an “A” signifying “anarchy” were written on the church’s exterior. Some exterior glass panels at the church also were broken.
The look and style of the graffiti appears similar to that which appeared on a Catholic church building in nearby Boulder a few days prior. Sacred Heart of Mary Parish was defaced with pro-abortion slogans the evening of May 3, marking the second time in less than a year that the parish has been targeted with graffiti of this sort.