CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — An overnight fire Wednesday severely damaged a building that was being renovated to house a new abortion clinic in Wyoming, a conservative state where opposition to abortions is widespread.
No one was hurt in the blaze in Casper, Wyoming’s second-biggest city. Police had not released any information Wednesdays morning about what caused the fire.
The clinic, which would also provide other health care for women, had been set to open in June. It would become only the second place in the state to offer abortions.
Wyoming is one of 13 states that would outlaw abortion if the Roe v Wade decision were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. A leaked draft of a ruling suggests that will happen soon.
The clinic was being launched by Julie Burkhart, a former associate Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider who was shot and killed in a Wichita, Kansas church in 2009.
Police closed off the street where the small building is located as police went in and out conducting their investigation. Most windows and doors were broken out and smoke damage could be seen around one broken window.
Protesters had already gathered at the future clinic site this spring to show opposition. Signs opposing abortion filled window in an apartment next door to the building.
Burkhart said she suspected arson based on the fact that clinic organizers have been receiving harassing emails and telephone messages.
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