Police Investigating Arson at New York Pro-Life Pregnancy Center
CompassCare’s facilities have remained on high alert due to the recent violence to pregnancy centers around the country.
A pro-life pregnancy center in upstate New York sustained major damage in a fire and was defaced with pro-abortion graffiti Tuesday morning.
The center, CompassCare, located in Amherst, New York, a suburb of Buffalo, posted photos on its Facebook page showing the building’s windows shattered, an office burned and heavily damaged, and the words “Jane was here” spray-painted on the side of the building.
Variations of that message have been featured in some of the recent attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers and churches since a draft opinion leaked to the media last month indicated that the U.S. Supreme Court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Jim Harden, the CEO of CompassCare, told CNA that it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take several months to repair the building. The center is accepting donations here.
Police are investigating the incident as a possible arson. Two firefighters who responded to the scene were treated for minor injuries, Amherst police said.
Calling the damage to the clinic a “heinous crime,” Harden said that the morale of his team is high.
“The people of God are not going to let CompassCare remain homeless,” he said. “This is their ministry.”
He said that CompassCare’s facilities have remained on high alert due to the recent violence to pregnancy centers around the country. He said that the Amherst clinic had plans to install armored glass windows Tuesday morning.
“It's an evil thing that happened, but God is in the business of turning things upside down and making them good."
Harden said that the graffiti is an apparent reference to the name of a pro-abortion activist group called Jane’s Revenge.
The Daily Signal reported that Jane’s Revenge gets its name from a 1960’s activist group, Jane Collective. NPR reported that the group aimed to provide abortions to women while it was still illegal.
In a post at Puget Sound Anarchists, the Bo Brown Memorial Cell of Jane’s Revenge claimed responsibility for the May 22 spray paint vandalism at a parish in the Archdiocese of Seattle, along with attacks on three non-Catholic churches.
On a website called anarchistfederation.net, a post calling for expressing anger “out into the world and expressing it physically” was signed by “Jane’s Revenge.”
That post, titled “Jane’s Revenge — Night of Rage,” also calls for people to “come out after dark” and “make your anger known” on the night of the final ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Mississippi abortion case has the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“To those who work to oppress us: If abortion isn’t safe, you aren’t either,” the post says. “We are everywhere.”
The words “Jane was here,” “Jane says revenge” or “Jane’s revenge” have recently been left at the scene of multiple vandalisms of pregnancy resource centers.
On June 3, the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center in Washington D.C. was vandalized with red paint and spray paint that said “Jane says revenge.”
In the early hours of May 25, Next Step Pregnancy Center in Lynnwood, Washington, was tagged with grafitti saying, “Jane’s revenge” and “If abortions aren’t safe, you aren’t either." At least five of its windows were smashed.
In Maryland, the Alpha Pregnancy Center in Reisterstown, northwest of Baltimore, was defaced with spray-painted threats May 14 including “If abortions aren‘t safe, neither are you,” ”Not a clinic,“ and ”You’re anti-choice and not pro-life.“ Those messages were signed as being from ”Jane's Revenge.”
On May 8 the headquarters of Wisconsin Family Action in Madison, Wisconsin, were set on fire and graffiti was left on the building that said, “If abortions aren‘t safe than you aren’t either.” The next day, Oregon Right to Life reported that Molotov cocktails were thrown at the organization’s offices in Keizer on May 8, igniting a small fire. The fire was quickly put out and no one was hurt.
Between May 7 and May 8, two women's resource centers, Woman to Woman Resource Center and Loreto House, were vandalized in Denton, Texas, near Dallas.