CEO of pro-life pregnancy center that reopened and announced plans to expand less than two months after it was damaged by militants in a firebombing credits ‘the generosity of God’s people for allowing such a “miracle” to take place.
CompassCare in Amherst, New York, is one of several pro-life pregnancy centers that have been vandalized by pro-abortion activists in the wake of Politico publication of leaked draft opinion in Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Healthindicating that the judges were about to overturn the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
While the vandalism continued after the Dobbs decision was made on June 24, the firebombing of CompassCare’s Amherst office took place two weeks before the Dobbs decision.
On June 7, CompassCare announced in a blog post that his facility had been attacked: “Early this morning, police and firefighters responded to smoke at the CompassCare office in Buffalo. The building was burned down. Windows in the reception room and nurses’ office were smashed and fires were started. Graffiti on the building left by the arsonists refers to the abortion terrorist group Jane’s Revenge, reading “Jane Was Here”.
Jane’s Revenge is a pro-abortion activist group that took credit for the firebombing of Wisconsin Family Action, another life advocacy organization. He demanded that all pro-life organizations disband within 30 days. In a June 14 communicated declaring “open season” on pro-life groups for refusing to close, Jane’s Revenge listed “Buffalo, NY” as one of several acts of vandalism it had committed in recent weeks. Amherst is located close to Buffalo, which means he probably took credit for the offense against CompassCare.
To grand reopening ceremony On Monday, Harden announced that “this office was rebuilt in 52 days.” He also noted that “we did not close for a single day” but rather “we rerouted, transferred patients to our Rochester facility on the day of the firebombing, and the day after the bombing. at the firebomb, we had three offers to move to another location.”
“We were up and running the very next day in another location,” he recalls, identifying CompassCare as “a Christ-centered agency dedicated to empowering women to erase the need for abortion by transforming their fear into confidence. because everyone is made in the image of God. »
In an interview with The Christian Post, Harden attributed CompassCare’s quick reopening to “the generosity of God’s people.” He told CP that “we had an outpouring of generosity when God’s people started hearing about it”, expressing his gratitude “that they had the spirit to work and the spirit to give of their time, of their money and material resources.”
“With supply chain issues, material shortages and labor shortages, rebuilding a catastrophically damaged and burned facility in 52 days was nothing short of a miracle,” he said. he declares. “It’s truly humbling to be part of such an amazing group of people in Buffalo and across New York State.”
Harden pointed out that CompassCare’s Amherst site suffered “catastrophic damage” as a result of the firebombing.
“We had to replace all the windows, all the doors, all the ceiling, all the floor, many walls had to be redone,” he said. this.”
CompassCare has served women facing unplanned pregnancies at its Amherst facility since 2019, when it purchased the facility from a retiring physician. CompassCare also has offices in Rochester and Albany, two of the largest cities in upstate New York.
While the firebombing no doubt caused difficulties for CompassCare, Harden explained the opportunities that arose because of the vandalism: “Through this firebombing, we are able to engage …additional partners to help us achieve our plans as we’ve been growing since 2018. We have a global telehealth partner called Let’s Talk Interactive, they are in 79 countries and 50 states.
“And they said, ‘What can we do to help?’ They heard about the firebombing. And we said, “Well, we’re looking for a telehealth partner.” And they said, ‘We are here; what do you need?’ So, with them, we will be providing 650 pregnancy centers across the country with the tools of 21st century telehealth so that these pregnancy centers can compete head-on with the abortion industry for the first time since 1973,” said he added.
Harden predicted that telehealth tools will eventually “reach and serve these women before they go to places like New York to get abortions and before they go online to get mailed the dangerous abortive chemical drug”. He said telehealth appointments will be a major feature of the new addition to CompassCare’s Amherst site.
“The grand opening is symbolic in some ways because not only will we be able to serve more patients in person due to the expected increase in volumes, but we are also going to be able to serve women through telehealth, so we will have offices of telehealth nursing where our nurses will be able to shorten that window of service from… 24 hours after the first positive home pregnancy test to 24 minutes.
In addition to Harden, Rep. Claudia Tenney, RN.Y., also spoke at the press conference for any legislation she presented titled Pregnancy Resource Center Defense Act. “What he’s doing is increasing the penalties for attackers of these vitally important pregnancy centers across our country,” she said.
Specifically, the bill classifies attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers as felonies as opposed to misdemeanors, increases fines for such crimes from $10,000 to $25,000, and increases the mandatory minimum prison sentence for attacks involving arson from five to seven years.
CompassCare has brought together a petition urging “President Biden and all state governors and political leaders to take immediate action to protect peaceful pro-life pregnancy centers from violent abortion terrorists.” As of Wednesday, the petition had garnered 3,693 signatures.
Harden believes the New York government and federal government responses to the violence against pro-life pregnancy centers and churches are not only inadequate, but also stoking tensions that are leading to further attacks.
“Six days after we were set on fire, New York Governor Kathy Hochul came out, she signed a invoice not investigating arsonists but investigating victims, pro-life pregnancy centers. And at the press conference for the signing of this bill, she called us subhuman; she called us Neanderthals.
He also criticized New York Attorney General Letitia James for writing “a open letter to Google misrepresenting the work of pregnancy centers and demanding that Google strike us off the map so women can’t find us. He also cited Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.’s insistence that “pregnancy centers are hurting women and that we need to shut down” as part of an “all-out attack” on such organizations.
Harden said the hostility faced by organizations like his constitutes “not just a physical attack, but a legislative attack and a public relations attack as well as the use…of law enforcement officials and attorneys general to attack pro-life pregnancy centers.” He claimed, “We have done nothing wrong and the only thing we have done is provide free ethical medical care and comprehensive community support to women in need without any state or federal money. is invested in us.
Additionally, Harden criticized the Amherst Police Department’s response to the CompassCare firebombing. He read aloud a statement from the law enforcement agency at Monday’s press conference, which read: “The Amherst Police Department is working diligently and cooperatively with the FBI and d other federal agencies to resolve this matter.”
The police department stressed, “Several leads have already been investigated which we continue to pursue at this time,” adding, “The Amherst Police Department is still asking the public for any information they have regarding this case. .”
Harden said, “Their statement basically consisted of three sentences; they did not identify this as arson. If I was Jane’s Revenge, that’s exactly the kind of police statement I’d want to hear.
“What has happened here is multiple attacks across the country, firebombs, domestic terrorists taking responsibility and we have law enforcement crickets. How should I interpret this? How should we, as American citizens, interpret what law enforcement is actually doing here? ” He asked.
In June, several media outlets reported that the FBI had opened an investigation into the attacks, but pro-lifers remain unhappy with the federal government’s response so far.
The CEO of CompassCare, an ordained Southern Baptist minister who now works full-time for the network of pro-life pregnancy centers, vowed the firebombings and threat of further violence would not deter his company from carrying out its mission. assignment.
“We’re just not going to give in to fear of bullying tactics,” he said. “God is our protector, God is our provider, and our job is to fear him and fear him alone. So we’re not going to take revenge on Jane’s Revenge. We’re going to return evil for good, and we’re going to endure the fire as we did by the grace of God.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at: [email protected]