Analysis

Knoxville Planned Parenthood burns to the ground on New Year’s Eve

UPDATE, 1/7/2022: Investigators have announced they believe the fire is due to arson, and was set intentionally. “Knoxville Fire Department investigators, along with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), have conducted a thorough scene investigation of the December 31st 710 N. Cherry Street – Planned Parenthood fire and determined the fire to have been purposely set by an individual or individuals who, at this time, remain unidentified,” the fire department said in a statement, according to CNN.

At a press conference, Planned Parenthood vowed to rebuild.

“We are heartbroken at the loss of our beautiful new building, but I’m here to tell you that we are committed to Knoxville and East Tennessee, and we are determined to rebuild,” Ashley Coffield, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, said. “Knoxville wants Planned Parenthood, our patients need us to be here and we are going to be here.”

While the fire is believed to be arson, it is still not known who set the fire or why.

1/3/2022: A Planned Parenthood facility in Knoxville, Tennessee, burned to the ground in an early morning fire on New Year’s Eve. The cause of the blaze is still unknown. The building had been closed since December 7 for renovations.

Assistant Chief Brent Seymour of the Knoxville Fire Department told the Knoxville News Sentinel that they were dispatched due to reports of smoke billowing from the building at 6:40am Friday morning. No injuries were reported, and no one was inside the building at the time. Clients were already being referred to the Planned Parenthood facilities in Memphis and Nashville instead.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI will be assisting in the investigation. “Any fire in a structure like that, you’re right, everything gets investigated,” Seymour said. “This may be a little more attentive.”

At this particular facility in the past, at least one woman stated she was lied to by staff when she went there to get an abortion. Pro-life Dr. Brent Boles treated the patient afterwards and recounted her story with her permission. After undergoing a pre-abortion ultrasound, she said she wanted to know information about her baby. “She asked if there was a heartbeat,” Boles said. “She was told, at an age between 7-8 weeks, that ‘there is cardiac activity but it’s too early to call it a heartbeat.’”

READ: Planned Parenthood’s pattern of coercing women into abortion

This, of course, is false; a preborn child’s heart begins beating approximately three weeks after fertilization. Boles alleged that the Planned Parenthood staff lied to the woman so she would be less likely to back out of the abortion. As it turned out, the woman was pregnant with twins, and despite the ultrasound, staff did not inform her of this.

“Either their sonographer was incompetent, or they once again lied since they know that a woman who finds out that she’s having twins may have a harder time with the thought of aborting two babies instead of one,” Boles said, explaining that the staff still tried to carry out a chemical abortion, which failed. “Why didn’t it work? Probably because the extra progesterone from the fact that there are two babies overcame the progesterone blockade that the abortion pill tries to create.”

Local news outlet WATE interviewed Ken Peters, Pastor of Patriot Church. Peters and his parishioners often organize pro-life protests outside of the facility, and assured reporters that news of the fire did not make any of them happy.

“This is not going to stop abortion. It’s the changing of hearts and minds. It’s the changing of laws,” Peters said. “This might temporarily halt abortion, but this doesn’t stop it. We care about life. That’s why we’re here. We don’t want anybody hurt. Christians would never participate in any sort of destruction of property, or looting, or rioting. That’s what the world does.”

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