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Intro: "On Sunday, a Planned Parenthood office in Grand Chute, Wis. was damaged when a small homemade explosive device was placed on a building windowsill."

Officials say damage was minimal in Wisconsin Planned Parenthood attack. (photo: The L Magazine)
Officials say damage was minimal in Wisconsin Planned Parenthood attack. (photo: The L Magazine)

Planned Parenthood Clinic in Wisconsin Fire-Bombed

By Elizabeth Flock, The Washington Post

03 April 12


rganizations that provide abortion services, such as Planned Parenthood, have long been targets of antiabortion violence, with instances of vandalism, assault, arson and even murder at offices and clinics.

One of the most common attacks, however, is a simple incendiary device: firebombs.

On Sunday, a Planned Parenthood office in Grand Chute, Wisc. was damaged when a small homemade explosive device was placed on a building windowsill, the Associated Press reports. Planned Parenthood told BlogPost in a statement that there was minimal damage to one of the facility's exam rooms, and told the AP the clinic will reopen Tuesday.

Police are investigating the incident, and the local Appleton Post Crescent reported that neither police nor clinic officials were aware of any threats to the center prior to the incident. The newspaper said the FBI had assigned an agent to work with local police.

Historically, the number of antiabortion arsons has been declining. But over the past few months, there has been a spate of firebombings that appear to fit into the antiabortion violence category.

Sunday's incident comes on the heels of a firebombing at the office of Texas Sen. Wendy Davis' (D) in March. Officials said they don't have a motive for the attack, but the news site Think Progress pointed out that Davis is a vocal supporter of Planned Parenthood. The attack came just after Texas announced it would cut funding to Planned Parenthood clinics.

In January, the Pensacola, Fla.-based Ladies Center Clinic, which provides abortions, was similarly firebombed by a homeless man, also in the wake of antiabortion measures being pushed in the state legislature, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Florida lawmakers passed several anti-abortion laws in 2011, including one that mandates ultrasounds before all abortions.

"Sometimes, there is an escalation in violence when abortion is just in the news," Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), which keeps data on anti-abortion attacks, told BlogPost. "Other times, it happens when people feel frustrated."

The Ladies Center Clinic has been at the center of antiabortion violence for nearly three decades. In 1984, the clinic was destroyed by a pipe bomb. In 1994, antiabortion activist Paul Hill shot and killed a physician at the clinic.

The NAF data suggests that historically, these attacks come in waves, with a spike in extreme violence in 1998 and 1999, and in arsons in 2003 and 2007.

Last year, there were only two high-profile antiabortion firebombings, in Detroit and in North Texas.

Despite three possible antiabortion firebombings so far this year, 2012 is unlikely to show a real spike in violence, according to Saporta, because of improved measures taken by authorities "before arsons complete their intent."

"But violence against [abortion service] providers is still something we're very concerned about," she said. "There are still many extremists who believe that the use of force is appropriate to intimidate abortion providers to stop providing care to women." your social media marketing partner


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For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+17 # erogers 2012-04-03 08:43
Yes in deed, the Nazi SA is out in force. Bunch of cowards who hide behind the cloak of darkness. This type of criminal behavior will increase as more states pass draconian rules. Put these cowards in the light of day and they will run back to the rat holes they emerged from.
+30 # Billy Bob 2012-04-03 09:37
I hope the detonation of this IED will be treated by Homeland Security as what it is:


The American right-wing has a solution for dealing with known (or even suspected) terrorists. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who considers this anything BUT an act of terrorism is a terrorist sympathizer and is guilty of giving comfort to the enemy.
+22 # Capn Canard 2012-04-03 10:06
Billy Bob, I agree, but if we expect arrests or prosecution under Homeland Security's authority I won't hold my breath. I believe it is a law now that Terrorists are never allowed to be Angry Pro-life White Republicans or Conservatives.. . only compassionate peace loving pacifist Liberals or dark skinned minorities can be terrorists.
+7 # Billy Bob 2012-04-03 11:37
So you're saying the law itself is nothing more than a bunch of right-wing bullshit to intimidate the left?

You're saying that the right-wingers who wrote and now defend the law are complete hypocrites who are interested in anything but justice?
+8 # Regina 2012-04-03 12:09
+11 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-04-03 10:41
& indicates a widespread, underlying hatred of Women.
0 # Cassandra2012 2012-04-05 15:40
And what can be expected of the part of Wisconsin that produced that gem of a human being, Sen. McCarthy of Appleton! Remember the HUAC farce 'Communist' trials. Apparently Fascism is ok there!
+10 # reiverpacific 2012-04-03 11:39
So much for "PRO-LIFE"!
"If your fetus is born as a human who is a Pro-Choice supporter -well, we'll just kill THAT too 'cause God wants it that way"!
Billy Bob; you are right of course but this is an age of double standards so don't expect H.S. to do a damn thing. I hope I'm wrong but they are more interested in going after "Occupy".
+6 # Billy Bob 2012-04-03 13:29
Of course you're right, but it's still important to shout about the hypocricy as loud as possible. When you hold up a mirror to a hypocrite it's a pretty unflattering image.
+10 # humanmancalvin 2012-04-03 12:23
No doubt this dastardly act was committed by a good Christian soldier. And Jesus wept.
+2 # pernsey 2012-04-03 15:58
Apparently the bible verse that says, "Dont repay evil for evil, but overcome evil with good." Is lost on these good Christian hypocritical soldiers!

They pick and choose whats relevant to their cause and what isnt...its unbeliviably sad.

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