Springfield, Mass., Aug 19, 2022 / 15:53 pm (CNA).
When Pam Hibbard saw red paint on the steps at Bethlehem House, the pro-life pregnancy center that she directs, she was a bit confused.
But she quickly realized that the red paint was a familiar image that she read about in media reports. In several reports over the past few months, pro-life pregnancy centers across the nation have been vandalized, many times with red graffiti that includes the words “Jane’s Revenge.”
That’s exactly what Hibbard, 71, discovered at her center in Easthampton, Massachusetts, about 15 miles north of Springfield, on Aug. 18.
Splatters of red paint covered the property — which is an old parish rectory — in various areas including the walkway, the side of the building, on tables, and on chairs.
The words “Janes Revenge” were written on two benches in a prayer corner on the property. The threat “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you” was also written on the cement walkway in black with a red anarchist symbol near it.
“To be vandalized for giving out diapers, that’s a bit much,” Hibbard told CNA Friday. “I feel like the world’s gone crazy here.”
In addition to free diapers, the Bethlehem House — which is run by volunteers — provides wipes, car seats, strollers, handmade quilts, baby blankets, clothing, and other supplies for free. The clinic supports families until the baby is up to 2-years-old.
The clinic also gives away baskets to each mom they serve with $500 worth of items inside, including a blessed rosary.
Hibbard said that local police and the FBI are involved in investigating the case. She declined to say whether the perpetrator was caught on video camera.
Hibbard said that she doesn’t understand why “they talk about choice” but want the only choice to be abortion. She called their tactics hypocritical.
“All we’re doing is trying to help families, moms, new moms, moms that might have a baby already, or a couple of children already and this is their third child, whatever it is, it could be their 10th child,” she said. “We help people who are doing God’s will in having the baby. And he’s the one that gives life.”
Bethlehem House is located within the Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts, and Bishop William Byrne commented on the vandalism.
“I was very sad to hear that vandals targeted Bethlehem House last night,” he said. “The messages spray painted on the outside of the building appear to have one purpose and that is to intimidate the good people who depend on the assistance provided there, along with those who volunteer at Bethlehem House whose sole purpose is to help women and their families facing a crisis pregnancy.”
“No matter where you stand on the issue of abortion, I pray all people of goodwill will join me in condemning this act and all acts of vandalism and violence against any group. We are a people of life called to lead with love. That’s what we will continue to do. Please join me in praying for all affected by this incident,” he concluded.
There have been dozens of acts of vandalism and arson that have targeted Catholic churches and pro-life pregnancy centers across the nation in recent months since reports began circling that Roe v. Wade would be struck down by the Supreme Court — which happened June 24. That ruling returned the authority to regulate abortion to the states.
Since then, arrests have been made in connection with vandalism at Catholic churches. But there has not been one reported arrest in connection with vandalism at pro-life pregnancy centers.
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