A pregnancy center
in Everett had an
arson attempt, FBI thinks it’s deliberate
EVERETT — In late June, three days after Roe vs. Wade was overturned, law enforcement believes someone tried to burn down a pregnancy health center in Everett.
Two Hearts Pregnancy Aid, 3202 Hoyt Ave., was hit June 27 late at night. Evidence of an incendiary device was found. It's thought someone threw it through the center's window in an attempt to cause a fire.
The FBI has put up rewards of up to $25,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) for this and a slate of other similar arson attacks on reproductive facilities. What happened in Everett with incendiary devices was also seen in attacks elsewhere such as Nashville where someone used a Molotov cocktail-type device. In some cases, centers burned.
The damage at Two Hearts closed the center for a day.
“We are fortunate the attack wasn’t successful and didn’t hinder our ability to serve those in need for too long,” Two Hearts said in a written statement. “The immediate safety of our families and staff is a top priority.”
Some pregnancy centers are faith-based and advise pregnant mothers against abortion, but not all.
Two Hearts does not, its executive director Rachel Carrier said by phone. Carrier said the center stays neutral on the topic of abortion, and it does not give mothers counseling services.
Centers do not deserve to be vandalized because of politics, Carrier said.
The court’s discussion made these centers a target immediately after an initial draft of the Supreme Court's majority opinion to overturn Roe vs. Wade got leaked and was published by a news outlet May 2. Overturning Roe
re-enabled individual states to prohibit women from getting abortions. (Washington state's leadership has openly said they have no intent to do so.)
In some attacks, vandals spray "If abortion isn't safe then neither are you." It's under the premise that if a pregnancy goes wrong it can be fatal to the mother if not ended. They also often write "Jane's Revenge" as a proclamation of solidarity. It's not proven Jane's is a centralized, organized group.
On May 25, a vandal spray-painted those messages onto Next Step Pregnancy Services in the early morning, the Lynnwood Times reported.
The FBI doesn't investigate spray-paint vandalism but does pursue cases when a facility is physically damaged.
"Over the past several months, the FBI has been pursuing a number of investigations in attacks and threats of pregnancy services and faith-based organizations around the country," said Steve Bernd, a spokesman for the Seattle FBI office.
Bernd said if what happened to Two Hearts was premeditated on hate, it could be a civil rights violation, and "this was definitely not a random act."
Law enforcement takes these kinds of incidents seriously, Bernd said, and what was done in Everett carries hefty penalties and jail time.
It is a federal crime to damage a reproductive health facility under the FACE Act of 1994. The act also made it a federal crime to interfere, threaten or injure people trying to enter a clinic that provides abortions, as well as a crime to damage a religious facility or interfere with people trying to attend a church or other religious facility.
The FBI is soliciting for tips on 10 such cases nationally, including the Everett incident, two in the Portland area at the Mother and Child Education Center and the Pregnancy Resource Center, and seven others.
Tips can be made to 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), by reaching a local FBI office, or by sending a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. You may remain anonymous.
A person will answer the phone if you call the 1-800 number, Bernd said.
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