WASHINGTON (BP) – Nearly 30 pregnancy resource centers offering lifesaving Christian ministry have been attacked since the leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that would kill nationwide legal abortion, a Catholic tracking site reported June 20.
Among the latest attacks is a fire at the First Image Gresham Pregnancy Resource Center in Portland, Ore., that authorities are investigating as arson, the pro-life ministry First Image reported. The June 11 fire, which blazed at 3 a.m. after someone threw an incendiary device through a window, was the second attack at a First Image pregnancy resource center including an attack in May.
“Our alarm system immediately alerted fire and police, and they arrived very quickly and extinguished the fire,” First Image said in a press release. “It was mostly contained to one room, but damage there was extensive and there is additional water and smoke damage in other parts of the building. Nobody was hurt.”
While no one has claimed responsibility for the Gresham fire, extremist pro-choice groups Jane’s Revenge and Ruth Sent Us have admitted to some of the attacks which appear to be carried out under the umbrella of the two groups, according to the pro-life advocacy group Catholic Vote. Jane’s Revenge in particular has tweeted threats of a “night of rage” as “an autonomous call to action against patriarchal supremacy,” PregnancyHelpNews.com reported June 6.
Lifesite News also identified The Anti-Hope Brigade as an instigator in some attacks.
The attacks are among at least 28 attacks at pregnancy centers in the Pacific Northwest, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Alabama and Florida, according to reports from Catholic Vote and Live Action News.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops documented at least 48 attacks on pregnancy centers and Catholic churches since the Supreme Court document was leaked, Aleteia reported. Another extremist group, Puget Sound Anarchists, have claimed responsibility for several attacks on churches, including two evangelical congregations in the Pacific Northwest, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
No injuries have been reported, but damage has ranged from vandalism to written threats to extensive structural damage, as in the fire that destroyed a room at the Gresham center, and fires at three other centers, National Review reported June 13.
More than 25 Christian leaders signed a Catholic Vote letter this month urging U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke to “publicly condemn these attacks; to commit to vigorous efforts to prevent them, and to investigate and prosecute them; and to proactively engage with the affected faith communities to ensure their concerns and security needs are being met.”
Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund; Kristin Hawkins, president of Student for Life Action; Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and Ben Carson, founder and chairman of the American Cornerstone Institute, are among signatories. About 100 Republican U.S. representatives sent a similar letter to Garland in June asking him to investigate the attacks “as acts of domestic terrorism,” Catholic News Service reported.
The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) has condemned the attacks.
“It is extremely disheartening that violence and vandalism has been perpetrated against these lifesaving clinics,” ERLC Director of Public Policy Chelsea Sobolik has said. “We should all condemn violence in every form, and in this moment, redouble our efforts to support these important centers.”
The FBI said it is investigating the attacks.
“The FBI takes all threats seriously and we continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners and will remain vigilant to protect our communities,” the Washington Examiner quoted an unnamed FBI spokesperson for the FBI national press office.
The U.S. Supreme Court is on track to release its ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization by early July.