Dearborn Heights, Michigan— A Dearborn Heights pregnancy center was vandalized on June 20 in an apparent attack by protesters who support legal abortion.
Police responded to reports that the Lennon Pregnancy Center, an independent pro-life pregnancy resource center, was downgraded early in the morning.
According to a Facebook post from the center, several windows and doors along the facade of the building were smashed and the building was spray painted with graffiti. Police have since painted over the graffiti and the broken windows have been boarded up.
Since the May 2 leak of a draft opinion was published indicating that the Supreme Court of the United States could be on the verge of annulling deer v. Wade in the days to come, resource centers and pro-life churches were the target of increased vandalism and threats. The Court overturned the decision on June 24.
In its article, the Lennon Pregnancy Center said a print shop that shares the building was also vandalized.
“We are saddened and discouraged by this act of violence, but we will continue to provide free assistance to women and men who come to us in need of basic assistance for their children,” the message read.
“We will continue to offer free parenting classes, free pregnancy tests and free ultrasounds,” he said. “We will continue to help our community who come to us in need of diapers, clothing and baby items such as car seats, pack-n-plays, strollers, bottles, blankets, pacifiers and in the midst of a shortage of free formula milk.”
According to Gary Hillebrand, president of the center, damage to the facility will cost between $10,000 and $15,000 to repair, and the center has ordered additional security cameras to help protect staff and customers.
The Lennon Pregnancy Center said it provided aid to 97 people in the past month, including 232 boxes of material goods and 280 packets of diapers, among other services.
Pro-life and religious leaders have asked the US Department of Justice to investigate the increase in attacks, which have included places of worship. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, from May 2020 through October 2021, there were at least 100 incidents of arson, vandalism, and other destruction at Catholic sites across the United States.
Dispatches report that in many of these attacks, vandals left the message: “If abortion isn’t safe, neither are you.” A Catholic News Agency article said that according to Hillebrand, a similar message was spray-painted in the center of Dearborn Heights.
On June 12, three protesters broke up mass at St. Veronica Parish in Eastpointe, Michigan. One of the protesters, who was nearly naked, stood on a bench and chanted “pro-abortion” slogans before being escorted away by ushers.
The Archdiocese of Detroit said it has been alerting pastors and parishes for several weeks to be aware of security transgressions that have taken place across the country.
“We are saddened to see protesters disrupting a liturgical celebration and disrespecting those gathered in prayer,” archdiocese spokesman Ned McGrath said. “All religious communities should be free to worship without fear.”
On June 23, the second day of the U.S. Episcopal Conference’s Religious Freedom Week, the theme was “Church Vandalism,” and U.S. Catholics were urged to pray “for Christian witness in the face of attacks on our churches convert hearts to faith in Jesus Christ.”
McGrath added, “In the Archdiocese of Detroit, we are committed to supporting women and families dealing with difficult or unexpected pregnancies and to advocating for laws that protect the lives of unborn babies and mothers.”