A Baton Rouge crisis pregnancy center temporarily closed Tuesday after it was vandalized overnight.
Baton Rouge Police Department Lt. Don Coppola said officers responded to a call at 6:30 a.m. regarding damage to the Women’s New Life Clinic. The facility’s exterior walls, windows and signage were covered in red spray-painted messages, including “Abortion is a right” and “Fake Clinic”, as well as several references to the band Jane’s Revenge.
Allison Millet, CEO of the Women’s New Life Clinic, said the graffiti was discovered at 6 a.m. when employees arrived at the facility and notified police shortly thereafter.
“Any act of violence or vandalism is an unfortunate thing, regardless of ideology or anyone’s personal opinions or beliefs,” Millet said. “We are doing everything we can to strengthen our security measures to make sure our customers know we are safe.”
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, Coppola said. An unmarked law enforcement vehicle idled in the facility’s parking lot on Tuesday afternoon.
Sarah Zagorski, communications director for anti-abortion group Louisiana Right to Life, said the vandalism was ‘disgusting’
“You know, whatever your opinion on abortion, vandalism and the destruction of other people’s property is never the answer, especially for oppressed women, who need help, and this place offers help these women,” said Zagorski.
The Crisis Pregnancy Center offers counseling and other health services to women with unplanned pregnancies with the specific intent of deterring them from seeking abortion care. It is located next to the closed Delta Clinic in Baton Rouge, the city’s only abortion clinic.
These centers also promote the medically unproven and potentially dangerous idea of medical abortion reversal. It does not offer contraceptives, but does provide some gynecological services through a nurse practitioner, according to its website.
The vandalism in Baton Rouge is part of a recent trend against anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers in states, including Florida, Minnesota and Massachusetts. Some of these incidents included graffiti bearing the name “Jane’s Revenge”.
Jane’s Revenge claims to be an abortion rights activist group responsible for the vandalism and firebombing of crisis pregnancy centers across the country.
The United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade prompted the The FBI to monitor the violence on all sides of the abortion debate.
Vandalism and violence against crisis pregnancy centers also comes amid decades of violence directed at abortion clinics. Abortion clinics have seen an increase in violence in 2021, according to the National Abortion Federation.
Protesters regularly camp outside abortion clinics – some try to convince women not to enter, while others monitor abortion doctors or carry signs with their photos and names.
Doctors working in anti-abortion states, including Louisiana, have often refused to speak out publicly for fear of professional repercussions and fear for their personal safety.
Anti-abortion activists have bombed abortion clinics and murdered abortion doctors in the past. More recently, in 2009, abortion doctor George Tiller was shot and killed at his church in Wichita, Kansas.