Police suspect a fire at the clinic’s Wyoming site that will provide an abortion

Police suspect there was a fire behind the fire that damaged a clinic under construction in Caspar that would become the only site in Wyoming for a systemic abortion.

A caller called 911 shortly before dawn on Wednesday to find out if anyone had escaped from a building near the city center Caspar with gas. Smoke billowed from the building’s windows as authorities arrived, Caspar police said.

The facility appears to have suffered internal damage, an organizer said later Wednesday. Wellspring Health Access, a non-profit company developing the clinic, plans to make repairs. But founder Julie Burkhardt said it was unclear if the clinic would open in June. “I’m really sad and angry that people will try to stop us like this.”

The future of the clinic was uncertain even before the fire broke out. Welspring is moving ahead with its plan, despite an impending US Supreme Court ruling in anticipation of constitutional protections for abortion rights granted by the 1973 landmark case. Rowe vs. Wade. The “trigger law” recently enacted in Wyoming will take effect a few days after such a ruling, which would ban most abortions in the state.

Burkhardt said Wednesday that he was glad no one was injured in the blaze.

He said the building has some furniture, examination tables and medical equipment. He suspects fire and smoke have been damaged inside the building, as the walls have turned black.

Bob Brechtel, who helped organize an anti-abortion prayer vigil outside the Caspar site, condemned the suspected arson. “We’re really sorry that this happened,” said Brechtel, a former Republican legislator. “It simply came to our notice then. There is nothing wrong with damaging someone else’s property, so we must not forgive it. “

Brechtel said people participating in the weekly vigils were asked to sign a document promising to be peaceful and people were allowed access to the facility.

Burkhardt said local police and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were at the scene Wednesday. He hopes the clinic’s surveillance cameras captured images of the suspected arsonist.

Caspar police spokeswoman Rebecca Lad said investigators were examining camera footage. If they find a clear picture of the suspect, they will help the public identify that person.

The only other clinic in Wyoming that offers abortions in Jackson – a five-hour drive west – and it offers only medical abortions up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

The new Caspar Clinic plans to offer medications and systemic abortions. For many people, the founders of the nonprofit described it as an “abortion desert” that stretches from East Wyoming to West Nebraska and South Dakota.

This is not the first time that abortions have been offered to clinics. A planned parenthood clinic in Tennessee was destroyed in an intentional fire on New Year’s Eve. A few years ago, the man behind the deadly bombing of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics also bombed two abortion clinics.

Meanwhile, the office of an anti-abortion group in Wisconsin was recently targeted with Molotov cocktails. An abortion rights group has claimed responsibility, but police have not made any arrests.

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