Houston pregnancy center director calls vandalism attack ‘racist’ and feels she can’t rely on police

A pregnancy resource center (PRC) in Houston was the target of vandalism on January 29, and the center’s leader believes the attack was racially motivated.

Sylvia B. Johnson, executive director of Houston Pregnancy Help Center (HPHC), also told Catholic News Agency that she didn’t feel she could call the police following the attack because the city is “very pro-abortion.”

Director Sylvia Johnson (Photo via Houston Pregnancy Help Facebook)

Though there are three branches of HPHC, Johnson said that the one that was vandalized was located in the city’s Fifth Ward, a predominantly Black neighborhood, and it serves mostly minority clients. Johnson, who is Black, said that the two vandals, who appear to be Caucasian, were seen on camera writing “Abortion for all” on the front of the facility, and gluing its locks shut. 

“It’s absolutely racist!” Johnson said. “You don’t go to the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas — and you are white — at three o’clock in the morning and write ‘Abortion for everyone’ unless you are racist!”

Johnson said that she didn’t see the point in calling the police because she believes that leaders in the city don’t care about vandalism against a pregnancy resource center. Her feelings are not without merit. Though there have been many acts of violence and vandalism committed against pregnancy resource centers, churches, and pro-life organizations since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the DOJ has so far charged just two people for these crimes. This is in spite of the fact that the FBI has admitted that about 70% of abortion-related violence and threats since the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision have been perpetrated against pro-life groups.

Johnson noted that though the attack happened in the early morning hours, it didn’t stop the center from serving more than 30 clients the next day. Her staff and volunteers arrived early to clean up the mess so that they could be ready to serve the community.

“What I find very ironic,“ Johnson told CNA, “is that this happened in the month that we celebrate Black history.” She also decried the fact that many abortion facilities seem to target minority communities — which recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would seem to support.

“It was never about the mamas,“ Johnson said.

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