By Patty Knap
On a mid-December morning this past year the Executive Director of Pregnancy Aid Detroit received a text from one of the center’s board members.
The board member’s house had been vandalized during the night. A window was broken, and spray paint was all over the garage, doorbell, and driveway with a threatening message, “If abortions aren’t safe neither are you!”
The board member heard noise during the night and got up to see two figures dressed in dark clothes and hats running from the house and taking off in a car.
With all the attacks on pregnancy help organizations since the Dobbs ruling last June, Pregnancy Aid Detroit Executive Director Nancy Anter expected to find something similar at the pregnancy center, and that’s exactly what she found.
The Eastpointe, Mich., pregnancy center had large, red, threatening, spray-painted messages. “Liar,” “Fake Clinic” and “Jane’s Revenge” were found on the side of the building, unfortunately outside the view of security cameras.
Anter called everyone who was due to come in to work at the center that morning, asking if any of them preferred to stay home. That included a volunteer nurse practitioner who was scheduled to teach a new parenting class on postpartum issues.
Everyone wanted to come in, and the center opened at 10 a.m. as usual.
One irony of these attacks, Anter pointed out, is that they occurred after Michigan passed Proposition 3, which allows abortions up to delivery in the state.
“I’m not sure what their end game is, what their goal is, other than to hate,” she said.
Over the past year there have been over 100 attacks on pregnancy centers, including firebombing, graffiti, and other vandalism. However, this is reportedly the first time that a board member’s home was attacked.
The disturbing incidents ended up bringing out a lot of support for the pregnancy center’s work.
A mom and her two teenagers came by, compassionately asking how they could help. Several people sent checks, including new donors.
A few days later as Anter was still thinking about how to get rid of the red spray-painted graffiti, another board member called to tell her it was already gone. He and his wife had gone to the building the night before with scrub brushes and buckets and cleaned the entire wall.
“We had several people come by with cartons of diapers or wipes or baby clothes, saying they’d seen the report in the local media,” Anter said. “They were really appalled that a place that helps young moms in unplanned pregnancies, and all for free, would be treated with such hate.”
As of mid-February, Pregnancy Aid Detroit had received no reports of any arrests, and has been told, “The investigation is continuing.”
The president of the nation’s largest network of pregnancy help remarked on the absurdity of attacking pregnancy centers that help thousands of women each year.
“Vandalism and violence have proven to be useless tools in preventing pregnancy help centers from their mission to help provide alternatives to abortions,” said Heartbeat International’s Jor-El Godsey. “If anything, the time to fix damage is taken away from needy moms and their babies.”
“Targeting board members is even more ineffective on both accounts,” Godsey said. “However, each incident of vandalism is another opportunity for perpetrators to be caught then prosecuted for domestic terrorism.”
Editor’s note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News and reposted with permission.