Police: Wisconsin Pro-Life Group’s Headquarters Set Ablaze in Apparent Arson Attack

The Madison Police Department said flames were seen coming from the offices of Wisconsin Family Action in the city’s north side shortly after 6am Sunday. The fire was quickly put out by the Madison Fire Department. No one was hurt, police said.

Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling told News 3 Now that someone had started a fire in the pro-life office.
Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling told News 3 Now that someone had started a fire in the pro-life office. (photo: News 3 Now / Twitter screenshot from May 8, 2022/last visited 05/08/22)

The headquarters of a pro-life organization in Madison, Wisconsin, was set on fire in an apparent arson attack, police said Sunday. 

The Madison Police Department said flames were seen coming from the offices of Wisconsin Family Action in the city’s north side shortly after 6am Sunday. The fire was quickly put out by the Madison Fire Department. No one was hurt, police said.

“A molotov cocktail, which did not ignite, was thrown inside the building. It also appears a separate fire was started in response,” a police report said.

Arson investigators are working with fire department officials to determine an exact cause.

Media reports said the outside of the building was also sprayed with graffiti depicting an anarchy symbol, a coded anti-police slogan and the phrase, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.”

Representatives of Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) were not immediately available for comment Sunday. The organization's website says the group advocates for the unborn, traditional marriage and religious liberty.

“Please keep our friends at Wisconsin Family Action/Wisconsin Family Council in your prayers,” Wisconsin Right to Life said in a Facebook post Sunday. “Thankfully, no one was hurt in the attack on their Madison office this morning.”

WFA President Julaine Appling told News 3 Now that someone had thrown molotov cocktails into her office and had burned books. 

“We get veiled and not-so-veiled threats from time to time,” Appling told the television station. “We’ve never had anything that materialized like this.”

Appling told the station that she respects others’ right to disagree with her organization’s positions, but not when it comes to acting out violently.

“We can all disagree,” she said. “People disagree with me all the time. I don’t go threaten them.”

The attack in Madison came during a tense weekend in the wake of a pro-abortion group’s threat to disrupt Masses at Catholic churches on Sunday, which was Mother’s Day. The group Ruth Sent Us made the threat after the leak of a preliminary draft opinion in a Mississippi abortion case that suggested that a conservative majority on the court is poised to overturn the landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade.

CNA reported about morning Mass being disrupted in Los Angeles late in the day on May 8 as well as other incidents.

Pro-lifers give prayerful witness outside of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral as pro-abortion activists gathered May 7 in New York City.

Updates on Mother’s Day Threats: New Incidents Reported

On Sunday, Mass in Los Angeles was disrupted, and over the weekend pro-life organizations were targeted. On Saturday, pro-abortion activists blocked the entrance of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Lower Manhattan in New York City. A pro-life contingent made their presence known amid the protest.

Ivan Aivazovsky, “Walking on Water,” ca. 1890

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“The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate; God cares for all, from the least things to the great events of the world and its history. The sacred books powerfully affirm God's absolute sovereignty over the course of events …” (CCC 303)