Federal and local authorities are investigating a nighttime attack Thursday at a maternity counseling center in Nashville, where a window was smashed with an unignited Molotov cocktail device found inside, according to Metro Nashville police calling it the “first act of vandalism that occurred.” was seen”. in connection with the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion decision.”
The Hope Clinic for Women in Nashville has been in operation since 1983. The Christian Pregnancy Center offers pregnancy testing, counseling and parenting classes and works to keep women and girls away from abortions. It is one of the organizations highlighted in a Friday press release applauding Roe v. Wade’s overthrow of Bill Lee, who sits on the advisory board.
“This is terrorism and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Lee said on Twitter on Thursday.
Joy Styles, who is a member of the clinic’s board of directors, said the incident forced staff to cancel all morning appointments before reopening Thursday afternoon.
“We are a place of peace and a place of support,” she said. “Today that was disrupted.”
Styles disagreed with the clinic’s characterization of anti-abortion, saying the faith-based organization doesn’t judge women and girls about their choices, but hopes women “choose life.” The center does not refer women to abortion clinics, she said.
“Because someone made an assumption about who we are and how we come out with our beliefs, they prevented half of the women we would see today from making appointments,” she said.
Police responded to a burglar alarm at the facility at 1:38 a.m. Thursday and found the smashed window and unexploded device inside, the department said.
The words “Janes Revenge” were spray painted outside the brick building, the press release said.
Reports have surfaced in Colorado, Virginia and Florida of similar anti-abortion maternity centers being vandalized since the Supreme Court ruling.
This is terrorism and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Join us in supporting clinics like Hope Clinic, which provide essential resources to families in Tennessee. https://t.co/wh4O6c1YDq
— Government Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) June 30, 2022
Detectives from the FBI, the MNPD Specialized Investigations Division and agents from the Hazardous Devices Unit are investigating, and the unignited device has been sent to a crime lab for analysis, the Nashville Police Department said.
“Police are working with the facility on ways to enhance security,” a press release said.
In an email sent after this story was published, Hope Clinic CEO Kailey Cornett said the building had suffered damage from graffiti and the broken window which was quickly repaired Thursday.
“Our police are working with other law enforcement agencies to arrest the perpetrator,” she said. “What we want you to know is that the Hope Clinic for Women will remain open for our necessary services to women and families. We are grateful for all the community support during this time and we are back to serve our customers with compassion, non-judgment and care!”