Federal and local authorities Thursday investigated a nighttime attack on a Nashville pregnancy counseling center, where a window was smashed and an unignited Molotov cocktail device was found.
The Metro Nashville Police Department called it the “first act of vandalism seen as related to 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 works to keep women and girls away from abortions. It is one of the organizations highlighted in a recent press release from Governor Bill Lee, who once served on the advisory board, applauding the overthrow of Roe v. Wade last Friday.
“This is terrorism and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Lee said on Twitter on Thursday.
Joy Styles, a Metro councilor who serves on 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,” Styles said. “Today that was disrupted.”
Styles disagreed with the clinic’s characterization as 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 encourage or send anyone to an abortion clinic, 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,” Styles 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.
In Colorado, Virginia and Florida, reports of similar anti-abortion maternity centers have been vandalized since the Supreme Court ruling.
Detectives from the FBI, the Specialized Investigations Division of the Metro Nashville Police Department and agents from the Hazardous Devices Unit are investigating, and the unignited device — which consists of a container filled with a flammable substance and a fuse — is for analysis. sent to a crime lab, according to police. Nashville Police Department.
“Police are working with the facility on ways to enhance security,” a press release said.
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