A vandal targeted a Seattle-area crisis pregnancy center, breaking the windows and tagging it with an abortion-related threat in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the center's footage shows.
"It sounds like one person that we could see on the video came by and just took it upon themselves to throw rocks and break five of our front windows," Heather Vasquez, director of Next Step Pregnancy Center in Lynnwood, Washington, told Jason Rantz on his radio show. "And then spray-painted all over the front door and the front walkway and in the back walkway in the wall."
The message in red paint states, "If abortion isn't safe, you aren't either," a slogan for some pro-choice activists.
"In the back, they wrote Jane’s revenge," Vasquez added. "I think they were referring to Jane Roe, probably."
A group called "Jane's Revenge" took credit for an arson attack against the pro-life group Wisconsin Family Action earlier this month. Vandals in that attack had tagged the target with a similar message: "If abortions aren't safe, then you aren't either."
The center stayed open and continued its work despite the damage. The Lynnwood police have opened a case on the incident.
"I believe that we were targeted because a lot of people, including maybe that person, are very misinformed and misguided about what really goes on in a pregnancy resource clinic," Vasquez said. "I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about what’s really happening here. But none of them ever want to come in and, you know, be with us and see what happens day to day."
Vasquez estimated that the damage runs to approximately $5,000.
"If they're really that pro-choice, I don't understand why they care what we're doing," Vasquez said of the vandal. "If a woman chooses to come here and get our assistance, she made a choice. So why can’t she go where she wants to go?"
According to the center's website, Next Step offers free pregnancy testing, diagnostic ultrasounds and information on options. Next Step is a medical pregnancy clinic with qualified, licensed personnel.
Critics of the pro-life movement often claim that opponents of abortion do not care about the welfare of women or of the children, once they have been born. Yet crisis pregnancy centers have proliferated across the country, as churches and other pro-life advocates seek to aid women facing crisis pregnancies and to help them after the birth of their children.
The vandalism comes a few weeks after the unprecedented leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion overruling Roe v. Wade (1973), which prompted pro-choice activist protests in Washington, D.C., and around the country. Activists targeted the homes of Supreme Court justices for protest, and they targeted Roman Catholic churches for protests on Mother's Day.
Vandals also targeted a church in Boulder, Colorado, earlier this month, spray-painting "bans off our bodies" and "my body my choice" on the building.
Vandals targeted four churches in Olympia, Washington, on Sunday, May 22, with messages similar to the ones at Next Step.
"We dumped red paint over the entryways and left messages of ‘If abortions aren't safe, then neither are you,' ‘Abort the church,' and ‘God loves abortion,'" a group calling itself "Jane's Revenge, Bo Brown Memorial Cell" wrote in a post on Puget Sound Anarchists. "We are not appealing to state power for an end to patriarchal violence, but threatening: ‘If abortions aren't safe, then neither are you.'"
The group claims it vandalized a Mormon church, two evangelical churches, and a Catholic church.
Cean Williard, an executive pastor at Harbor Church, one of the four churches vandalized, confirmed the attack to The Washington Free Beacon, and said that while parish leaders were "saddened that any group would choose to communicate through intimidation, vandalism or threats of violence," the "attack has not altered [their] resolve."
Jane's Revenge said it targeted the churches because "these churches are terrified of people exercising bodily autonomy – whether aborting unwanted pregnancies or taking gender-affirming hormones/surgery or f---ing whomever we want – because they need the rigid hierarchy of the family as the basic unit of control." The group described the churches as "patriarchal sex abuse cults."
The post taking credit for the church vandalism also referred to a crisis pregnancy center as an "anti-abortion fake clinic," and listed the center's financial backers. "Each of these businesses should be considered responsible for the violence of forced birth," Jane's Revenge wrote.
If the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade, it will allow states to make their own laws on abortion. Washington state legalized abortion in 1970, so the Court's ruling would not affect abortion in that state.