Planned Parenthood Center Bombed In Wisconsin Amid Abortion Legislation Debates
By Jacey Fortin | April 3, 2012 4:02 AM EST
A Planned Parenthood clinic in Appleton, Wisconsin was set aflame briefly by a homemade bomb around 7:40 p.m. Sunday.
Authorities affirmed that someone had set the small device on a windowsill of the Appleton North Health Center. When it exploded, a small fire began. The flame set off the health center's fire alarm but quickly extinguished on its own, causing slight damage to one of the exam rooms. No staff or patients were present at the time.
The local fire department responded to the alarm and found the remains of the bomb, at which point the case was turned over to police.
The city of Appleton has some territorial overlap with the town of Grand Chute; law enforcement officials of Grand Chute are handling this case. Detective Scott Callaway, who is associated with the investigation, did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
In a statement released on Monday morning, Planned Parenthood Wisconsin President Teri Huyck said that the clinic would be closed on Monday but would reopen on Tuesday, April 3. "We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the law enforcement agencies working with us to ensure Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin continues to be a safe and trusted health care provider for Wisconsin women and families," she said.
There are 27 Planned Parenthood health care centers in the state of Wisconsin. Only three of them provide abortion care, and the Appleton facility is one of them.
Last month, the Wisconsin State Assembly drew attention to the issue of reproductive healthcare by drafting a bill to prohibit insurance coverage for abortions, even for those women who purchase private insurance plans.
Planned Parenthood Executive Director Tanya Atkinson personally delivered a letter to Wisconsin Assembly Chairs on March 12, asking them not to pass the legislation, according to RH Reality Check.
The next day, on March 13, Atkinson and hundreds of other protesters flooded the Wisconsin State Capitol steps carrying pink signs. "Unfortunately, we have one of the most anti-women's health, anti-choice, anti-birth control legislatures that Wisconsin has ever seen," said Atkinson. She urged the state assembly members had "not to push these bills through."
Unfortunately for Atkinson and her fellow protesters, the controversial legislation passed the Wisconsin State Assembly on March 14.
Despite the unfavorable legislation passed last month and the bombing on Sunday, the Appleton facility and other Planned Parenthood centers in Wisconsin will continue to offer gynecological services, preventative health care, disease testing, sex education and more to men and women across the state.
"Women deserve safe and compassionate care, and we are proud to provide it. Rest assured, our doors will remain open for the thousands of women who rely on Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin each year for high quality health care," said Huyck.
Anyone with information about Sunday's explosion are encouraged to contact the Grand Chute Police at (920) 832 1575.
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