Pullman, Washington – A three-year-old Planned Parenthood clinic was set ablaze on Friday, September 4th, at approximately 3:30 am. On Saturday, authorities confirmed that the fire was intentionally set and have ruled it as arson.
This is not the first time a Washington state Planned Parenthood clinic was the target of domestic terrorism. In 1996, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Spokane Valley, Washington, was bombed. Four men, who were members of a white supremacist, anti-abortion group, were convicted in the blast. Planned Parenthood locations in other states (including Wisconsin in 2012), have been the targets of similar attacks.
On August 22nd, 2015, protestors stood in front of Planned Parenthood locations nationwide, protesting the heavily edited videos depicting the sale for profit of aborted fetal tissue that were released by the Center for Medical Progress. The Pullman, Washington, Planned Parenthood location had a major anti-abortion demonstration at this time, including approximately 500 protestors.
The Pullman Planned Parenthood location does not participate in the fetal tissue donation program, nor does it provide abortion services. It does however provide basic women’s health services and family planning.
Without assistance from Planned Parenthood, many women would go without services that are desperately needed. It’s a common misconception that Planned Parenthood only does abortions, when in fact, abortions only make up a very small percentage of the many services they provide. Some of the services provided (breast exams, mammogram referrals, STD testing, etc.) could mean the difference between life or death for a woman who does not, otherwise, have access to such care.
Historically, Planned Parenthood has been the target of hate crimes and will continue to be a target if attitudes toward women’s reproductive rights do not change. Right wing media outlets have been riling up hatred towards the organization through heavy rotation of anti-Planned Parenthood propaganda.
In a statement by Karl Eastlund, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho,“This is an appalling act of violence towards Planned Parenthood, but unfortunately a predictable ripple effect from the false and incendiary attacks that fuel violence from extremists.”