A fire on Sunday inside the headquarters of anti-abortion group Wisconsin Family Action was being investigated as arson, after someone had spray-painted a message outside the building. Madison, Wisconsin police spokeswoman Stephanie Fryer told the Wisconsin State Journal that the fire reported shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday in Madison was suspicious in nature. Federal officials and the Madison Fire Department are helping with the investigation.
Officials were still working to determine how much damage the fire caused, and confirmed no one was injured. Investigators found the remnants of at least one Molotov cocktail and it wasn’t immediately clear who vandalized the building, but the message “If abortions aren’t safe than you aren’t either” was spray-painted on the building. Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes said in a statement: “It appears a specific non-profit that supports anti-abortion measures was targeted.”
The president of the lobbying group, Julaine Appling, said she considers the fire a “direct threat against us” given that it happened just a few days after a draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion was leaked suggesting the court may soon overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in this country. Appling said: “This is the local manifestation of the anger and the lack of tolerance from the pro-abortion people toward those of us who are pro-life. We will repair our offices, remain on the job, and build an even stronger grassroots effort. We will not back down. We will not stop doing what we are doing. Too much is at stake.”
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