Fire at Anti-Abortion Group Wisconsin Family Action’s Office Investigated as Arson

Fire at Anti-Abortion Group Wisconsin Family Action’s Office Investigated as Arson

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Fire at Anti-Abortion Group Wisconsin Family Action’s Office Investigated as Arson

A fire set at the office of an anti-abortion group in Wisconsin over the weekend is being investigated as targeted arson, according to authorities in the capital city of Madison.

A statement from Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes called the incident an “arson” while expressing the department’s support for free speech and condemnation of violence. According to a police report posted online, a molotov cocktail was thrown inside the building, but did not ignite. No one was injured, but the report suggested the incident may have been a “targeted” attack on a non-profit that supports anti-abortion measures.

While police did not identify the group in their initial account, local media quickly reported the site is the home of the anti-abortion group Wisconsin Family Action.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and a photo posted on Twitter by a reporter with a local NBC affiliateblack graffiti left at the site of the fire read, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.”

The fire came days after a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. wade and upend decades of abortion-rights law in America leaked—and set off nationwide outrage. Wisconsin is among the states with a pre-roe law that would presumably take effect and ban almost all abortions in that scenario, the sentinel report.

Wisconsin Family Action was founded in 2006 with the mission of advancing “Judeo-Christian principles and values ​​in Wisconsin by strengthening, preserving, and promoting marriage, family, life, and liberty,” according to its website. The organization’s president, Julian Applinglearned of the fire while getting ready for a Mother’s Day brunch with another member of the group, she told the Wisconsin State Journal.

“What you’re going to see here is a direct threat against us,” Appling told the paper. “Imagine if somebody had been in the office when this happened. They would have been hurt.”

Local police indicated the feds were being looped into the probe, and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers was quick to condemn the incident, even as it remained far from clear who was behind it.

There is a long legacy of violent attacks against abortion providers and health centers that provide abortion services in the United States. The incident in Madison did not fit that pattern.