(The Center Square) – The head of one of Wisconsin’s most prominent pro-life groups is vowing not to be intimidated by a weekend arson at their Madison office.
Wisconsin Family Action’s Julaine Appling said on Sunday that the attack on their office was an attempt to silence pro-life voices in the state.
“While this attack was directly provoked by the leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dobbs case earlier this week, this has far broader implications,” Appling said in a statement. “Apparently, the tolerance that the left demands is truly a one-way street. Violence has become their answer to everything.”
Madison Police say someone broke into the WFA office and started the fire about 6 a.m. Sunday morning. Investigators say it was arson. They are working with local fire investigators and federal partners on the case.
Appling says a local group called Anarchy 1312 took responsibility for the attack. They spray painted their group’s name on the side of the WFA building, along with the threat “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.”
“This attack fails to frighten us, and instead steels the resolve of law-abiding, common-sense, every-day folks to stand up and push back,” Appling added.
She criticized Gov. Tony Evers for his statement on the attack. Appling said the governor spent as many words defending abortion as he did condemning the attack.
“We condemn violence and hatred in all forms, including the actions at Wisconsin Family Action in Madison last night. We reject violence against any person for disagreeing with another’s view,” the governor said on Twitter Sunday. “We will work against overturning Roe and attacks on reproductive rights by leading with empathy and compassion. We will defend what we believe in with our words and our voices – in the streets, in halls of government, and at the ballot box. In Wisconsin, we must lead by example.”
Appling said that non-condemnation is almost an endorsement of the attack.
“In 2020, Governor Tony Evers basically looked the other way when violence erupted in Kenosha and Madison. That kind of non-response fosters what happened to us [Sunday], leaving Wisconsin citizens who disagree with his policies extremely vulnerable to similar violence,” Appling said. “In fact, Governor Evers’s response to today’s incident said nothing about demanding a full investigation and criminal prosecution. He just told his supporters he’d keep supporting abortion.”