It seems the national abortion debate has moved to the streets of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center (713 Maryland Ave. NE) was defaced late Thursday night.
Red paint has been thrown over the front door and the words ‘JANE SAYS REVENGE’ spray-painted on the side of the building, with what appears to be the symbol of anarchy in place of the letter ‘A’ ” in “Jane”.
The center has a security camera, but it was not in use at the time. Investigators are collecting footage from nearby residential systems.
Founded in 1985, the Capitol Hill Crisis Pregnancy Center (CHCPC) is a faith-based, non-profit organization. According the website“Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center serves the gospel of Jesus Christ by providing intervention and abortion alternatives for women and men facing pregnancies in crisis.”
Volunteers provide free pregnancy tests, peer counselling, education, support and referrals as well as baby clothing and supplies. The CHPC also offers post-abortion counselling.
Executive Director Janet Durig has worked at Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center for more than 19 years. Durig said he received a call from a neighbor on Friday morning that the building had been defaced with red paint and the word “revenge.”
“When I first heard the news, I felt like crying,” Durig said. “I take it personally.”
Durig said the vandalism is “heartbreaking” and expressed concern over the Supreme Court leak that perpetuates attacks on similar centers when “emotions run high”.
May 3, Reported Policy that the Supreme Court had voted to strike down the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision in a first majority draft opinion which was leaked to the news agency. The news sparked immediate protests in the Supreme Courts and actions across the country.
Pregnancy Crisis Centers, or CPCs, have themselves been at the center of the abortion debate. In 2018, the Supreme Court canceled California’s FACT lawwhich required CPCs to disclose information about state-provided options during pregnancy, including abortion, saying the law “targets speakers, not speech”.
Pro-choice organizations argued that CPCs intentionally mislead people. “Fake women’s health centers have a very well-documented history of intentionally misleading women into believing they are genuine health care facilities, by tricking them into their doors,” the author wrote. pro-choice organization NARAL in a February 2018 press release“and once inside, these centers then proceed to give women false, incomplete or inaccurate medical information, often from untrained people.”
The Capitol Hill center itself was included on a map of “fake women’s health centers” by NARAL in a post on their website.
Durig expressed his frustration, saying the center was there to help women. “People on the totally pro-abortion side don’t seem to understand that there are women who really want to keep their babies and would keep them if they had someone to help them,” Durig said. “It makes me sad that people don’t understand that and that’s proof that they don’t.”
Police are investigating and asking anyone with information to call MPD’s CIC at 202-727-9099 or text 50411.
The hill cloth contacted NARAL and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) for comment. This story is being updated.
Sarah Payne is a generalist reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at [email protected]
Elizabeth O’Gorek is Hill Rag’s staff reporter. You can reach her at [email protected]