DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Two women's resource centers were vandalized over the weekend in Denton - Woman to Woman Resource Center and Loreto House. Both were defaced with pro-abortion rhetoric prior to the pro-abortion protest rally held in the Denton Town Square later that same day.
"There's a right way to protest and challenge laws that are on the books but this is not the right way," Denton Mayor Gerard Hudspeth said during a press conference on May 13.
Vandals spray painted Loreto House, a pregnancy center in Denton with pro-abortion rights messages like 'forced birth is murder,' this weekend.
"This was really not a surprise. I had been anticipating these kind of attacks for a while, and in fact, had asked Denton police to increase their patrols," said Randy Bolig, executive director of the Loreto House.
Police said 'not a clinic' was also spray painted over the front door of the non-profit located in the 1100 block of N. Bonnie Brae Street. The building's security cameras and business sign were also spray painted.
Loreto House, like Woman to Woman resource Center, is not a medical clinic, nor does its staff diagnose or treat medical conditions. It isn't an abortion facility and does not refer clients to abortion providers either. But it does offer support and education about abortion from sources such as Texas Health and Human Services and/or medical publications that contain proper citations, according to its website.
Bolig said the vandalism was a "hate crime given the people who want to promote abortion are in some cases advocating violence against clinics, churches, etc."
"These acts of intimidation and terrorism will not be tolerated in Texas. The two vandalized centers were, unfortunately, prepared for just such acts and that is a sad state of affairs. Surveillance cameras caught footage of the vandals and will hopefully lead to their arrest. These centers provide resources and support for parents to be. We cannot stand idly by as charitable institutions are the target of these hateful extremists," said Texas State Senator Drew Springer.
There were other similar crimes across the country following last week's leak of a controversial Supreme Court draft opinion, written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito. It was published on May 2 by the Politico news outlet, and would uphold a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. It would also overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.
The leak set off massive political upheaval, with pro and anti-abortion rights supporters staging rallies outside the courthouse and at locations around the U.S., including North Texas. Not to mention the internal crisis sparked at the nation's top judicial body where an investigation into the source of the unprecedented disclosure is ongoing.
A worker at Loreto House told CBS 11 News the incident could cost the non-profit $750-$2,500 in damages.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call the Denton Police Department.
Senator Springer, Representative Tan Parker, Representative Jared Patterson, Representative Lynn Stuckey, Richard Hayes (Republican nominee for new House District 57), Kronda Thimish (Republican nominee for House District 65), and Ben Bumgarner (Candidate for House District 63) came together to offer a $5,000 reward to Denton County Crime Stoppers for information that leads to the arrest of the vandals.
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