A fire which occurred at a Christian pregnancy clinic in Colorado is being treated as arson after chilling messages were spray painted onto the walls and ground outside.
‘If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you,’ read one. ‘Bans off our bodies’ said another by the entrance at the Life Choices clinic in Longmont, northeast of Boulder.
The fire broke out in the middle of the night at 3:17am on Saturday morning. Authorities believe the fire was set deliberately.
No abortions are carried out at the center which aims to educate women on pregnancy
A Colorado Christian crisis center whose aim is to provide advice for pregnant women was vandalized and set on fire on Saturday morning with messages left in graffiti
The building at Life Choices in Longmont, Colorado was found to be covered with black graffiti spray painted on the walls
Firefighters from the Longmont Fire Department were on scene in the middle of the night tackling the blaze
Life Choices describes itself as a ‘Christ-centered ministry providing education, support, healing, and limited medical services for sexual life choices.’
Photographs also show the front of the property daubed with graffiti and black paint.
A number of phrases could be seen having been spray painted onto the walls and concrete in the entranceway outside the building.
The building sustained fire and heavy smoke damage according to Longmont Public Safety officials.
Investigators are urging residents in the are to check their own surveillance videos in the hope of tracking down those responsible reports KDVR.
‘If abortions aren’t safe then neither are you’, read a chilling message outside of the pregnancy clinic in Colorado
A firefighter is seen at the scene of an overnight fire at a Christian pregnancy clinic. Authorities are searching for those responsible
Firefighters were forced to don oxygen masks as they tackled the blaze which saw the building left with smoke damage
Across the country in Vermont, vandals struck at the State Capitol in Montpelier.
Windows were broken and a message was painted outside the main door, reports WCAX – ‘If abortions aren’t safe you’re not either’, it read.
The Capitol Police say the incident occurred around 2am with seven windows smashed and damaged running to the value of $25,000.
The vandalism at both locations occurred following Friday’s Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court ruling that gave women the constitutional right to abortion.
Vandals struck at the State Capitol in Montpelier smashing windows and spray painting graffiti
Several protestors were arrested in Midtown Manhattan on Friday during protest against the the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V Wade
Police holding batons move to disperse a crowd of abortion rights activists protesting after the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade in Downtown Los Angeles
Police holding rubber-bullet guns and batons move to disperse a crowd of abortion rights activists in downtown LA
The US Supreme Court on Friday struck down the right to abortion in a seismic ruling that shredded five decades of constitutional protections and prompted several right-leaning states to impose immediate bans on the procedure
Police hold a pro-abortion rights demonstrator to the ground as they detain them following a protest
Police officers escort out two abortion-rights protesters during demonstrations outside the Supreme Court in Washington DC
Such scenes have become familiar for providers and patients across the country over the decades since the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion.
At times the violence has been far more severe, including bombings, arson and murders – from the 1993 killing of Dr. David Gunn outside a Florida abortion clinic to the 2015 fatal shooting of three people inside a Colorado Planned Parenthood.
Now providers and some in law enforcement worry what will come next.
They’re preparing for an increase in violence now that the Supreme Court has ruled.
Historically there has been a spike when the issue of abortion gets widespread public attention, such as after a state approves new restrictions.
Now protests, harassment and other violence may well be more concentrated and intensify in states where abortion remains legal.
In some places, local police are working with clinics to try to tamp down the potential for violence.
In Jacksonville, Florida, the sheriff’s office said last month they would station an officer outside the clinic, and police in Little Rock, Arkansas, installed a camera atop a crane near an abortion clinic that has been the site of protests, hoping to deter bad actors.
But the relationship between clinics and local police isn’t always positive, and clinics must weigh whether having a heavy police presence will frighten patients.
A bomb exploded outside New Woman All Women Health Care clinic in Birmingham, Alabama in January 1998, killing an off-duty Birmingham police officer and a clinic nurse. Harassment and violence have became common outside abortion clinics over the decades since the landmark 1973 ruling legalizing abortion. Now providers and some in law enforcement worry what will come next
A report released Friday by the foundation, which collects monthly data from more than 500 members on harassment and violence, showed a spike in some incidents last year, including invasions of clinics, vandalism, assaults, burglaries, stalking, and hate emails or internet harassment.
Picketing and other types of incidents declined compared to 2020, but the number of incidents in all categories in 2021 exceeded the number in 2016, the year Donald Trump was elected president.
Providers in the United States, Canada, Colombia and Mexico City reported nine bomb threats last year, up from five in 2020, and the same number as in 2016, according to data from the National Abortion Federation.
But reports of suspicious packages or hoax devices jumped from 29 in 2016 to 71 last year. More than 90% of the providers reporting were in the U.S.
Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America said there were more than 40 incidents of violence, intimidation and vandalism at pregnancy centers and churches in recent weeks.
A sign in support of Planned Parenthood is placed nearby as police investigators gather evidence near the scene of a shooting at a clinic in Colorado Springs in 2015 (file photo from November 2015)