UPDATE, 5/10/22, 2:45 p.m. EST: Local station WMTV reports that a group called “Jane’s Revenge” is taking credit for the firebombing at Wisconsin Family Action on Mother’s Day, writing, “Jane’s Revenge went on to threaten increasingly violent attacks that extend beyond the Wisconsin capital, if its demands are not met, writing, ‘Wisconsin is the first flashpoint, but we are all over the US, and we will issue no further warnings.'”
5/10/22, 6:51 a.m.: The offices of a pro-life organization in Wisconsin were attacked on Mother’s Day, allegedly in response to the Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade leaked last week. In response to the leak, pro-abortion groups have become increasingly violent, attacking pregnancy centers and harassing Supreme Court justices at their homes.
At about 6:00 in the morning on Sunday, a passerby noticed smoke and called 911. It was found that the Wisconsin Family Action office was on fire, with messages spray-painted around the building. In a Facebook post, Wisconsin Family Action broke the news about the attack.
“Early Sunday morning, a leftist anarchist group attacked Wisconsin Family Action’s office in Madison, throwing two Molotov cocktails into the office, after breaking windows, and then proceeded to light a fire,” the post read. “The arsonists posted graffiti on the outside of the building near the group’s offices. The message read, ‘If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.'”
At least one Molotov cocktail was found inside the office, but it was not lit, leading investigators to believe the arsonists lit a second fire after the Molotov cocktail failed to ignite as expected. Julaine Appling, president of the pro-life organization, said in a statement she was told about the attack just before a Mother’s Day brunch, and responded to the scene with group event coordinator, Diane Westphall. The two women found shattered glass and fire damage.
“What you’re going to see here is a direct threat against us,” Appling said. “Imagine if somebody had been in the office when this happened. They would have been hurt.”
Yet Appling continued by saying that she won’t let the attack keep them from advocating for life. “This is the local manifestation of the anger and the lack of tolerance from the pro-abortion people toward those of us who are pro-life,” she said. “We will repair our offices, remain on the job, and build an even stronger grassroots effort. We will not back down. We will not stop doing what we are doing. Too much is at stake.”
In a statement, police confirmed the attack was an intentional act of violence specifically due to Wisconsin Family Action’s pro-life stance. “It appears a specific non-profit that supports anti-abortion measures was targeted,” Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes said.
Chillingly, some pro-abortion activists are using the attack as a way to further threaten people in the pro-life movement.
Caroline Reilly, a pro-abortion reporting fellow for the Rewire News Group, and whose work has also appeared in outlets like GQ and Vogue, tweeted in support, saying attacks like these should escalate. “[M]ore of this,” she began. “[M]ay these people never know a moment of peace or safety until they rot in the ground.”
Reilly’s account has since been deleted from Twitter. As of now, Rewire does not seem to have responded to Reilly’s call for violence against pro-lifers.
In a statement, President Biden condemned the attack, despite being an ardent supporter of abortion himself. “President Biden strongly condemns this attack and political violence of any stripe,” the White House statement read. “The President has made clear throughout his time in public life that Americans have the fundamental right to express themselves under the Constitution, whatever their point of view. But that expression must be peaceful and free of violence, vandalism, or attempts to intimidate.”
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