A fire that occurred late last week at a New Orleans women’s clinic appears to be arson. The fire, at Women with a Vision, occurred shortly after the FBI announced it was investigating arson attacks against clinics in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Women with a Vision’s executive director, Deon Haywood, told the Times Picayune that several small fires appeared to have been set in four different places in the office, but the damage mostly occurred in one room. She also said that the fire occurred shortly before midnight and no one was injured.
Haywood told reporters, “I feel a great sense of pain and hurt. I feel violated. Our clients are not just numbers. They are family. We take care of one another.” In a statement, the group that operates the Women with a Vision said that most of their equipment and resources were destroyed in the fire but vowed to continue their work. They wrote, “This cannot and will not stop us from speaking out for people who do not have a voice.”
The National Abortion Federation reports that last year there were 114 attacks against abortion providers, “including three physicals assaults, one bombing, one incident of arson, 27 counts of vandalism and eight burglaries.”
ThinkProgress 5/29/12; Care2 5/29/12; Times Picayune 5/28/12; Feminist Daily Newsire 5/25/12