LYNNWOOD, Washington, June 22, 2022 – Wednesday, May 25, around 2 a.m., Next Step Pregnancy Services‘ The ADT alarm system has triggered. When Executive Director Heather Vasquez and her team showed up for work later that morning, they found five of their clinic’s windows smashed and hateful graffiti painted on the front and back doors reading ‘if abortions aren’t safe , Neither Do You” and “Jane’s Revenge”.
“I think it was definitely politically motivated. You have the group Jane’s Revenge basically telling people to come out and be violent against pregnancy clinics and basically any organization that helps pregnant women,” Vasquez told the Lynnwood Times.
Jane’s Revenge is an American far-left group that has carried out and threatened terrorist attacks in the name of defending the right to abortion. The group was formed in 2022 in response to the Supreme Court leak overturning Roe v. Wade and has since committed firebombings, vandalism and arson across the country. The name is most likely a reference to Jane Collectivean underground organization that helped women obtain abortions prior to the Roe v. Wade.
Next Step Pregnancy Services are just one of many cases of targeted vandalism against pregnancy clinics across the country following the May 2 SCOTUS leak.
Starting with the firebombing of a crisis pregnancy center in Madison, Wisconsin, in May 2022, the group has since targeted pregnancy centers in New York, North Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin, Ohio, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Iowa and Oregon. After the Madison firebombing, the organization issued a statement demanding the disbandment of anti-abortion organizations with the threat of “increasingly extreme attacks.”
However, according to Heather Vasquez, Next Step Pregnancy Services is not an anti-abortion clinic at all.
“It was discouraging. I feel sorry for the person because I think there’s a misconception about what’s really going on in places like ours,” Vasquez said. “We don’t make any choices for our customers, if they walk in and don’t know what to do, we talk through all of their options and listen to them carefully.”
Vasquez informed the Lynnwood Times that their website clearly lists the free services they provide, including pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, pregnancy counseling, material assistance, post-abortion support, reproductive loss, adoption information and community assistance referrals.
“We invite people to come in for tours and ask questions, but no one ever comes,” Vasquez said. “I just feel like there’s a lot of misinformation about what we’re really doing here. I think they feel there’s a lot more pressure or religious stuff, but that’s not happening.
Video surveillance captured that morning revealed what appears to be a woman wearing a hoodie and mask spraying the front and back door of the facility. The security system indicated that there had been attempts to test the doors, but the suspect was unable to enter. Although the suspect was heavily concealed, Vasquez described her as female, thin and about 5’2″ to 5’5″ tall. It was the first incident of vandalism the clinic has experienced since opening its Lynnwood location in 2010.
Vasquez, joined by Next Step’s Rebecca Anderson, drew attention to the incident during the public comment section at the Lynnwood City Council meeting on Monday, June 13. Anderson told the Lynnwood Times that Mayor Christine Frizzell approached her after the meeting, deeply concerned, and asked what the city could do to help, including helping defray the costs of additional security cameras.
“Lynnwood police have been very attentive,” Vasquez said. “They came by and definitely stepped up their patrols around our building, sat in our parking lot and gave us their cell phone numbers and told us to call if we see anything suspicious.”
In addition to an increased police presence, Next Step is installing additional security cameras this week, at the recommendation of the Lynnwood PD, to increase their angles in case of further incidents.
About Next Step Pregnancy Services
Next Step Pregnancy Services is a licensed medical facility and 501(c)3 non-profit organization operating in the North End since 1998 and out of their Lynnwood location since 2010. The vast majority of their funding is provided by individual donors and private which allow them to offer a range of free services to women who are exploring their pregnancy options, who are curious about adopting or who are looking for advice and guidance.
Their Lynnwood clinic is located at 19526 64th Avenue West.