LYNCHBURG, Virginia—Something didn’t feel right to Susan Campbell as she checked the security camera feed from Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center, where she is executive director.
It was less than a day since the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending pregnancy on demand across America. And to Campbell, things seemed a little too quiet.
Campbell’s fears were confirmed June 25 when she arrived from home to learn that the pregnancy center had been attacked.
“They had taken crowbars to almost all of our windows, two of our doors, and just shattered all of the glass,” Campbell told The Daily Signal. “They had spray-painted [the shapes of] coat hangers on the sidewalks, on the brick facing of the buildings, and [wrote] political things like ‘Vote blue.’ In red on the stamped concrete, it read ‘If abortion ain’t safe, you ain’t safe.’”
Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center, in Lynchburg, Virginia, is one of about 40 pro-life organizations attacked since May 2, when someone leaked the Supreme Court’s draft majority opinion in the case called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
That draft previewed the high court’s official 5-4 decision, released June 24, to end abortion on demand and return the issue of abortion to Americans and their state representatives.
“Anybody who thinks that it’s OK to vandalize a center that’s aimed at helping women [in] their most desperate needs are cowards by every definition,” Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said during a visit to the Lynchburg pregnancy center following the act of vandalism.
“They hide behind a mask and they think they’re making a political statement,” Miyares, a Republican, said of those who vandalize pregnancy centers. “They’re absolutely victimizing the very women they claim that they’re standing up for.”
Pregnancy centers such as the one Campbell runs exist to provide women with an alternative to abortion when they face unexpected pregnancy. They often offer parenting classes, adoption resources, and emotional and financial support to women in crisis pregnancies.
“We do not want financial resources to be one reason or any hindrance,” Campbell said, explaining that all the resources offered by Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center are free, from diapers and baby clothes to counseling and ultrasound.
The Lynchburg center serves about 50 to 75 women a month, Campbell says.
Shortly after the attack on the center, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., made headlines for speaking openly against pro-life pregnancy centers.
“In Massachusetts right now, those crisis pregnancy centers—that are there to fool people who are looking for pregnancy termination help—outnumber true abortion clinics by 3 to 1,” Warren said. “We need to shut them down here in Massachusetts, and we need to shut them down all around the country.”
In response to the Massachusetts Democrat’s remarks, Campbell says she would “love to invite Elizabeth Warren to walk through these doors.” She said she would “take her through on a tour, show her, shadow an appointment, show her the life-saving measures that we are able to do.”
And to those who vandalized the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center, Campbell says, her message is “immediate forgiveness.”
“If you were to dwell on what they had done, … it would be easy to fall into unforgiveness and even bitterness because you felt so violated,” she said. “But I know as a Christian I’ve walked that path many times, and I won’t allow my heart to go down that direction.”
Now more than ever, Campbell says, she and her team are committed to keep on offering “guidance and support” to women facing crisis pregnancies.
“[We] not only help save the crisis pregnancy,” she said, “we care about the whole person.”
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