Vandals attacked a pro-life Minneapolis pregnancy center early in the morning on Saturday before a pro-abortion protest against the center and its work.
Attackers broke seven windows of First Care Center and vandalized the building with messages like “If abortions arn’t safe neither r u” [sic] and “Jane was here” on Friday night, according to Tammy Kocher, the group’s executive director. These messages echo the threats of “Jane’s Revenge,” a radical group associated with attacks on more than 100 pro-life pregnancy centers and churches across the nation since May 2022.
A Minneapolis Police Department spokesman told The Daily Signal that the incident took place at 1:18 a.m.
“Officers from the 3rd precinct were flagged down by a Metro Transit bus driver reporting two individuals damaging property at the location,” spokesman Adam Kennedy said. “Officers responded to the site but found no one. Officers made contact with building security to take a report and processed the scene for evidence.”
“No arrests have been made,” he added. “This is an active investigation.”
First Care’s surveillance video shows two hooded people in masks and gloves defacing the building around 1:30 a.m. for two minutes, Kocher told The Daily Signal. She emphasized that the attacks primarily hurt women in need.
“Who they’re really hurting is our clients who are hurting, single moms who are living in poverty and who need support,” Kocher said. “They’re trying to take away practical caring holistic support from families in need.”
The Minnesota Abortion Action Committee rallied in front of First Care on Saturday around 1 p.m. in a protest called “Say No to Anti-Abortion Centers.” Though the group admitted in a Twitter post that the pregnancy center does not receive state funding, the protest largely focused on removing state funding from pregnancy centers.
Kennedy told The Daily Signal that he would not comment on whether authorities suspect members of the Minnesota Abortion Action Committee, though he said police are “exploring all possibilities.”
Asked if the FBI or Justice Department is involved in the case, since the attack appears to violate the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, Kennedy said: “To our knowledge, no federal authorities are involved,” though he believes the Department of Homeland Security was notified.
The FBI and DOJ did not respond to requests for comment.
Minnesota Abortion Action Committee does not appear to have put out a statement condemning the attack. The group did not respond to repeated requests for comment from The Daily Signal.
Footage of the protest shows one of the activists yelling: “Resist the presence of these corrupt organizations in our communities and demand there be no more state funding for anti-abortion centers,” before claiming, “Abortion is a human right.”
If the Minnesota Abortion Action Committee got its wish of shutting down pro-life clinics, Kocher said, women in crisis would not have access to the support they need.
“Women deserve to know that if they want to continue a pregnancy, there’s got to be support for them,” she said. “Every woman deserves to be cared for and supported through an unexpected pregnancy.”
First Care Pregnancy Center, which the organization New Life Family Services recently opened, says that it does not receive state funding. Supported by donations, the nonprofit center provides free counseling, pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, adoption information, and more to women. The clinic gives 100,000 diapers, baby clothes, car seats, strollers, and other supplies every year to families.
Kocher said she believes misconceptions about the work of pregnancy centers drive attacks.
“Our center in particular is one of the largest, oldest, largest and most comprehensive centers in the country,” she said. “I always like to believe that if somebody knew what we actually did, they would not have a problem with us but at the end of the day, we realize that’s not the case.”
Regardless of what women choose, First Care will support them, Kocher shared.
“We welcome everybody,” she added. “It doesn’t matter what their final decision is. We are open to serving everybody.”
Reporting from The Daily Signal.