A vandal targeted an area of Seattle pregnancy crisis centersmashing windows and tagging it with an abortion-related threat in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, footage from the center shows.
“It looks like someone we could see on the video came over and took it upon themselves to throw rocks and break five of our front windows,” said Heather Vasquez, director of the Next Step Pregnancy Center in Lynnwood, Washington. Jason Rantz on his radio show. “And then spray painted all over the front door and the front passage and in the back passage in the wall.”
The message in red paint reads, “If abortion isn’t safe, neither are you,” a slogan for some pro-choice activists.
“On the back they wrote Jane’s Revenge,” Vasquez added. “I think they were probably referring to Jane Roe.”
A band called “Jane’s Revenge” took credit for arson against pro-life group Wisconsin Family Action earlier this month. Vandals in that attack had marked the target with a similar message: “If abortions aren’t safe, then neither are you.”
The center remained open and continued its work despite the damage. Lynnwood Police have opened a file into the incident.
“I believe we were targeted because a lot of people, including maybe this person, are very misinformed and misguided about what really goes on at a pregnancy resource clinic,” Vasquez said. “I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about what’s really going on here. But none of them ever want to come in and, you know, be with us and see what’s going on day to day. “
Vasquez estimated the damage to be around $5,000.
“If they’re really pro-choice, I don’t understand why they care what we do,” Vasquez said of the vandal. “If a woman chooses to come here and get our help, she has made a choice. So why can’t she go where she wants to go?”
According center website, Next Step offers free pregnancy tests, diagnostic ultrasounds and options information. Next Step is a medical pregnancy clinic with qualified and licensed staff.
Critics of the pro-life movement often claim that opponents of abortion do not care about the well-being of women or children once they are born. Still, crisis pregnancy centers have proliferated across the country, as churches and other life advocates seek to help women facing crisis pregnancies and support them after their children are born.
The vandalism comes weeks after the unprecedented leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion quashing Roe v. Wade (1973), which sparked protests by pro-choice activists in Washington, DC, and across the country. Activists targeted the homes of Supreme Court justices in protest, and they Roman Catholic churches targeted for Mother’s Day events.
The vandals too targeted a church in Boulder, Colorado, earlier this month, spray-paint “ban our bodies” and “my body my choice” on the building.
Vandals targeted four churches in Olympia, Wash., on Sunday, May 22, with messages similar to Next Step.
“We threw red paint on entrances and left messages like ‘If abortions aren’t safe, then neither are you’, ‘Give up the church’ and ‘God loves abortion'”, a group calling it “Jane’s Revenge, Bo Brown Memorial Cell” wrote in a Puget Sound Anarchist post. “We are not appealing to the power of the state to end patriarchal violence, but we are threatening: ‘If abortions aren’t safe, then neither are you.'”
The group claims to have vandalized a Mormon church, two evangelical churches and a Catholic church.
Cean Williard, an executive pastor at Harbor Church, one of four vandalized churches, confirmed the attack to Washington’s Free Beaconand said that while parish leaders were “saddened that a group chooses to communicate through intimidation, vandalism or threats of violence”, “the attack has not changed [their] solve.”
Jane’s Revenge said it targets churches because “these churches are terrified of people exercising bodily autonomy – whether the abortion of unwanted pregnancies or take hormones/gender-affirming surgery or fuck whoever we want – because they need the rigid hierarchy of the family as their basic unit of control.” The group described churches as “patriarchal cults of ‘sexual abuse’.
The post taking credit for church vandalism also called a crisis pregnancy center a “fake anti-abortion clinic” and listed the center’s funders. “Each of these companies should be held responsible for the violence of forced births,” Jane’s Revenge wrote.
Whether Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, it will allow states to make their own abortion laws. Washington state legalized abortion in 1970, so the court’s decision would not affect abortion in that state.