In The Wake Of Roe v. Wade, Attacks On Churches, Pregnancy Centers Escalate | JP

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Churches and pro-life or Catholic pregnancy centers and organizations are under continued attack following the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Data compiled by the Susan B. Anthony List and CatholicVote has found that dozens of centers have been attacked since the the early May leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion indicating that Roe v. Wade might be overturned.

The monumental Supreme Court decision came down on Friday as pro-lifers braced themselves for violent attacks following threats from pro-abortion activists to “rage” in protest over abortion.

Less than a day after the ruling came down, authorities were alerted of a fire at Life Choices pregnancy center in Longmont, Colorado. This is one of at least nine attacks on pro-life centers or Catholic institutions that JP has reviewed since the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Longmont, Colorado

“The building sustained fire and heavy smoke damage,” police said of the pregnancy center. “At the arrival of police and fire staff, the front of the property had been vandalized with black paint. This fire is being investigated as arson.”

The center’s front door was also broken and the building was spray painted with the words, “if abortions aren’t safe neither are you,” as well as the words, “bans off our bodies.”

Both the FBI and Longmont Public Safety are investigating the incident.

“What we hope the perpetrators of this act understand is that an attack on Life Choices is ultimately not an attack on a political party or act of,” Life Choices Executive Director Kathy Roberts told the Times Call. “It is an attack on those who walk through our doors every day in need of diapers, pregnancy tests, limited ultrasounds, clothing, financial and parenting classes, support, and so much more.  It is an attack on a place that is supposed to be safe for women, men, and their families.”

Photo courtesy of Longmont Public Safety

Photo courtesy of Longmont Public Safety

Lynchburg, Virginia

In Lynchburg, Virginia, police are investigating vandalism of Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center that also took place early in the morning on Saturday.

The pregnancy center’s windows had been smashed, photos posted by the Lynchburg Police Department show, and the building was spray-painted with graffiti that read “IF ABORTION AINT SAFE YOU AINT SAFE!”

Security camera footage shows that the center was vandalized by four masked individuals.

“There is no room for this in Virginia, breaking the law is unacceptable,” Governor Glenn Youngkin said of the attack. “This is not how we find common ground. Virginia State Police stands ready to support local law enforcement as they investigate.”

Houston, Texas

Firefighters responded to a fire at Sacco Company Catholic Store on Saturday evening where a fire reportedly broke out around 8pm. The store, which was founded in 1956 and sells religious books, apparel, vestments, and church supplies, has had to shut its doors “due to fire.”

The Houston Fire Department told JP that the fire is “currently under investigation” and a “cause had not been determined yet.”

The owner of the store did not wish to speculate on whether the attack was ideologically motivated or related to the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Fr. Patrick Briscoe of the Dominican friars in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, shared Sunday that St. Patrick Parish had been vandalized overnight.

“Please pray for those who are afraid, whoa re suffering, for mothers who need our love and care, and for the conversion of hears and minds,” he asked in a tweet.

A spokesman for the Philadelphia Police Department told JP on Monday that Central Detectives is investigating the vandalism, noting that the incident took place on Sunday, June 26.

Reston, VA 

Police are investigating after St. John Neumann Catholic Church was targeted Sunday with graffiti and possible arson.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department found smoking mulch at the church when they responded to a call early in Sunday morning, and found an accelerant that was likely used for a fire, as well as graffiti on the entrance sign and the back fo the building, reading “THIS WON’T STOP.”

“Officers found three additional locations on the back of the building damaged by graffiti,” the Fairfax County Police Department said in a release. “The remarks spray painted were related to the recent Supreme Court Roe v Wade ruling. Officers are working with the staff of the Church to review surveillance footage.”

“We continue to have increased patrols at places of worship, connect with community faith leaders, and are working with our regional law enforcement partners to determine who is responsible,” the police added.

Paso Robles, California

Tree of Life Pregnancy Support Center was vandalized between Friday night and Saturday morning, the Pas Robles Police Department told the local California outlet KSBY.

Vandals broke windows and spray painted symbols on the building, the publication reported.

Police believe the vandalism is tied to the overturn of Roe since the center had received a letter from the extremist abortion group Jane’s Revenge, KSBY reported. The Pas Robles Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from JP.

Portland, Oregon

In Portland, activists mistakenly attacked a pro-abortion center, believing it to be a pro-life pregnancy center, Mother and Child Education Center executive director Maura White told Fox News. The rioters smashed the center’s front windows and vandalized the centers windows with graffiti.

White, who describes herself as a “pro-choice, liberal Catholic Democrat,” told Oregon Live that law enforcement had tipped her off ahead of time that protestors might mistakenly target her center.

“They lumped us in with them,” she told the publication. “We’re not anti-abortion.”

“We help anyone who walks in our doors and the people are coming to us,” she told Fox News. “They’ve already made a choice to have children. They’ve already made that choice. So they don’t understand what we do. And it’s left over from 50 years ago. We are here to support women, support babies, support families. We believe in their rights.”

Raleigh, West Virginia

St. Colman Catholic Church, a historic Catholic church in West Virginia, was burned to the ground by the time firefighters from the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department arrived on Sunday morning, the department said in a Facebook post.

Built in 1878, the church was declared an official historic site in 1984, Fox News reported.

“Upon arrival we found the structure was already burned to the ground and smoldering,” the fire department said in a press release. “At this time the fire is considered suspicious in nature and is being investigated as arson.”

Eugene, Oregon 

Officers from the Eugene Police Department were closely monitoring the situation following reports of “Night of Rage” protesting following the overturn of Roe, the department said in a press release. Authorities said that extremists had planned to meet at Dove Medical Center around 10 p.m.

People dressed in all black clothing arrived wearing masks, hoods, and backpacks containing “unknown objects.” The event lasted about five hours, the police said in a release, noting that some officers suffered minor injuries.

“Eugene Police’s Mobile Response Team arrived in the area to block the building using its vehicles and officers to surround the building,” the department said. “The crowd continued to grow and began blocking E. 11th Avenue by standing in the roadway. Some people were observed picking up rocks and several began putting on gas masks. One female had a chemical pump sprayer and she was pumping it up. Additional EPD Patrol resources were called in.”

“An officer used a public address system to admonish the group of more than 75 people that they were committing disorderly conduct and were subject to arrest,” the release said. “This had no effect on the crowd and they advanced closer to officers.”

Some in the crowd threw smoke bombs and water bottles at the officers, the release said.

“EPD’s Crisis Negotiation Team eventually used their sound truck, which has an LRAD system on their truck, to provide louder volumes to the admonishments so those could be hear over the crowd noise,” the police said. ” Those who remained in the roadway were subject to arrest. The crowd did not comply. After the first arrest, the crowd became extremely loud and verbally hostile toward the officers and tried to get through the line.”

The unrest prompted the department to call in additional resources, including Springfield Police Department and Department of Homeland Security.

“Police provided more admonishments and arrests were made, with people fighting with officers and not complying with lawful orders, leading to inert pepperballs (pepper balls with no chemical munitions) being deployed in a few cases at people’s feet and legs,” the release continued. “At that point the crowd size decreased.”





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