Wisconsin anti-abortion office fire investigation ongoing

May 8, 2022, 6:38 PM | Updated: May 10, 2022, 6:35 am
Damage is seen in the interior of Madison's Wisconsin Family Action headquarters in Madison, Wis., ...

Damage is seen in the interior of Madison's Wisconsin Family Action headquarters in Madison, Wis., on Sunday, May 8, 2022. The Madison headquarters of the anti-abortion group was vandalized late Saturday or early Sunday, according to an official with the group. (Alex Shur/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

(Alex Shur/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Police asked for the public’s help in tracking down those who vandalized and threw two Molotov cocktails into the office of a prominent Wisconsin anti-abortion lobbying group’s office that was damaged by fire.

No one has been arrested and there are no suspects in custody in the fire that was discovered early Sunday morning when someone driving to Madison’s nearby airport noticed flames coming from the office building, Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes at a news conference Monday.

The fire at the Wisconsin Family Action office came after two Catholic churches in Colorado, including one known for its annual anti-abortion display, were vandalized last week. And police said two Molotov cocktails were thrown at an anti-abortion organization Sunday night in a suburb of Salem, Oregon, after an unsuccessful attempt to break in.

The leak last week of a draft opinion suggesting that the U.S. Supreme Court was on course to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide sparked protests across the country, including in Madison. Demonstrations included weekend protests by abortion rights supporters outside the homes of conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices, with more planned this week.

One Molotov cocktail thrown into the Wisconsin Family Action office failed to ignite and the investigation is ongoing as to whether the second one did, the police chief said. The message “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either” was spray-painted on the exterior of the building.

No one was hurt, but Barnes said had someone been in the office “it could have gone differently.”

Barnes said he was not aware of any threats to others, but he cautioned that the investigation could be lengthy.

“I do anticipate we will be able to solve this but we want to take our time to be sure we do it correctly,” he said.

Investigators from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting with the investigation. Barnes encouraged anyone who may have seen anything to contact police. Area businesses were also being contacted to see if they have any evidence or captured anything on surveillance cameras, he said.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who is up for reelection in November, decried the attack Monday when asked about it at a groundbreaking event in a Madison suburb.

“It was a horrible, horrible incident,” Evers said, adding that whoever is responsible “should be arrested and put on trial. This is unacceptable.”

“Violence does not solve the issues we’re facing as a country,” Evers said.

The president of the lobbying group, Julaine Appling, said she believed the vandalism was a direct response to the leak of the court’s draft opinion. She said “this attack fails to frighten us, and instead steels the resolve of law-abiding, common-sense, every-day folks to stand up and push back.”

Wisconsin Family Action has been a prominent force in the state for years, advocating for laws to limit access to abortions, fighting to overturn Roe v. Wade and working on numerous other hot-button social issues.

Politicians from both parties swiftly condemned the vandalism.

Clinics that perform abortions have sometimes been targeted by vandals, too, including as recently as January when a Planned Parenthood clinic in Tennessee was hit by arson.

___

Associated Press writer Todd Richmond contributed to this report.

___

The story has been updated to correct that the fire at anti-abortion organization in Oregon was Sunday night.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The Bosnian Parliament building is reflected on an election poster of Bakir Izetbegovic who is runn...
Associated Press

Bosnia election expected to re-legitimize a failing system

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Bosnia’s general election should be about the fight against rampant corruption and helping the country’s ailing economy. But at a time when Russia has a strong incentive to reignite conflict in the small Balkan nation, Sunday’s vote appears set to be an easy test for the long-entrenched nationalists who have ignored […]
1 day ago
FILE - A woman uses an ATM machine in the main town of the Aegean Sea island of Rhodes, southeaster...
Associated Press

Inflation hits record 10% in 19 EU countries using euro

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Inflation in the European countries using the euro currency has broken into double digits as prices for electricity and natural gas soar, signaling a looming winter recession for one of the globe’s major economies as higher prices undermine consumers’ spending power. Consumer prices in the 19-country eurozone hit a record 10% […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

New rocket company fails to achieve launch on 2nd attempt

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A year after its first rocket launch failed, a new aerospace company was unsuccessful early Friday in its second attempt to place multiple satellites into orbit. Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha rocket was unable to lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, and follow a planned arc over the […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Bombing inside Pakistani sweets shop kills 1, wounds 14

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A bomb exploded inside a sweet shop in southwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing at least one person and wounding 14 others, officials said. The bombing happened in the town of Kohlu in Baluchistan province, according to district administrator Qurban Ali. He said authorities transported the victims to a nearby hospital and […]
1 day ago
Policemen walk at Red Square with the St. Basil's Cathedral and Lenin Mausoleum in the background a...
Associated Press

Live Updates: Russia-Ukraine War

KIYV, Ukraine (AP) — KYIV — Ukrainian officials say a Russian missile strike on the city of Zaporozhzhia has killed at least 23 people and wounded 28. Zaporizhzhia Regional Governor Oleksandr Starukh said in an online statement Friday that Russian forces targeted a humanitarian convoy heading to Russian-occupied territory. Online video purportedly of the site […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Mariners take on the Athletics in first of 3-game series

Oakland Athletics (56-100, fifth in the AL West) vs. Seattle Mariners (85-70, second in the AL West) Seattle; Friday, 9:40 p.m. EDT PITCHING PROBABLES: Athletics: Ken Waldichuk (1-2, 7.15 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 21 strikeouts); Mariners: Logan Gilbert (13-6, 3.29 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 170 strikeouts) BOTTOM LINE: The Seattle Mariners host the Oakland Athletics to start […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Wisconsin anti-abortion office fire investigation ongoing