After news broke last week suggesting that the Supreme Court will soon overturn Roe v. Wade, protests and demonstrations on both sides of the abortion debate broke out across the country. And while many were peaceful, some radical pro-abortion activists resorted to violence and intimidation.
On Sunday morning, a suspicious fire, now being investigated as arson, broke out at the headquarters of the pro-life group Wisconsin Family Action. Someone also spray-painted the building with the words, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.” This chilling message was accompanied by an unignited Molotov cocktail that was lodged at the building. No one was injured in the attack, though it was clearly meant to intimidate and silence a part of the pro-life movement.
“We will repair our offices, remain on the job, and build an even stronger grassroots effort,” Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, said. “We will not back down. We will not stop doing what we are doing. Too much is at stake.”
Also on Sunday, pro-abortion activists protested at Catholic churches across the country after the pro-abortion grassroots group “Ruth Sent Us” called for its members to disrupt Masses. One pro-abortion protestor and “performance artist” planted herself outside the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in New York City and screamed, “God killed his son, why can’t I?” In Los Angeles, women in Handmaid’s Tale costumes interrupted Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
These types of protests within places of worship are not only disrespectful but could be illegal. “Federal law makes it a felony to intimidate, interfere with, or obstruct any person who is seeking to exercise his or her First Amendment right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship,” warned Jason Miyares, Virginia’s attorney general.
While abortion-supportive media outlets like Salon continue to discount the idea that pro-lifers could face violence or threats, incidents like these reveal anti-abortion advocates and those assisting pregnant women with abortion alternatives are already dealing with violent and criminal backlash for their beliefs.