The office of a Wisconsin pro-life group was torched on Sunday and vandalized with abortion-themed graffiti in what authorities are investigating as arson.
The Wisconsin Family Action headquarters suffered fire damage after someone threw a Molotov cocktail into the building in Madison, which was discovered after a passerby saw flames coming out of the building at around 6 a.m., according to police.
“Arson investigators are working with fire department officials to determine an exact cause,” said the Madison Police Incident Report. “A Molotov cocktail, which did not ignite, was thrown into the building. It also looks like a separate fire was started in response.”
Additionally, the building was spray-painted with the message: “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you.” No injuries were reported.
Police said federal investigators were briefed on the attack, and linked the incident to the Supreme Court draft leaked on Monday, overturning the Roe v. Wade of 1973, which legalized abortion nationwide.
“The Madison Police Department understands that members of our community are feeling deep emotions due to recent news involving the United States Supreme Court,” Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes said in a statement. “Early on Sunday morning, our team began investigating a suspicious fire inside an office building on the north side of the city. It appears that a specific non-profit organization that supports anti-abortion measures has been targeted.”
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Photos posted online showed burnt books and damaged furniture and walls.
This attack is abominable and must be condemned by all. https://t.co/CGnPmMJUmo
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) May 8, 2022
Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling said she believed the fire was “a direct threat against us.”
“This is the local manifestation of the anger and lack of tolerance of pro-abortion people towards those of us who are pro-life,” she said.
Wisconsin officials, including Governor Tony Evers, also condemned the attack.
“We condemn violence and hatred in all forms, including the actions at Wisconsin Family Action in Madison last night. We reject violence against anyone for disagreeing with another’s opinion,” Evers tweeted. “Violence is not the way forward. Hurting others is never the answer.”
The Democratic governor added: “We will work against Roe’s overthrow and attacks on reproductive rights, leading with empathy and compassion.”
Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, said the attack was “abominable and must be condemned by all.”
This story was based in part on news agency reports.