ALBUQUERQUE (Christian Examiner) – If the Project Defending Life (PDL) building had been an abortion clinic, the destruction caused by an arsonist the night before Thanksgiving would have been denounced by Planned Parenthood, pro-life supporters are saying.
Now, they're asking the nation's largest abortion provider to do the same after their pro-life offices and a prayer chapel were damaged by fire.
The FBI and the Albuquerque Fire Department have asked for the public's help in identifying the person or persons involved. The building was not destroyed, but because the fire erupted in multiple locations, officials had little difficulty in determining the fire was a result of arson.
Dominique Davis, PDL's director of client services, told the Catholic-oriented LifeSiteNews via email the group is anxious to see results in the investigation in order to learn why it was targeted.
"We will just have to be a little more creative and flexible. We know God has a plan for us, and I see our organization prospering now more than ever. The prolife community in Albuquerque and across the country has shown us so much support," she said. "It's beautiful to see the body of Christ taking care of each other."
While the facility is being repaired, she said, other pro-life groups are stepping in to keep PDL in business. One is the CareNet Pregnancy Center, which is lending PDL its mobile medical unit.
"We can still provide pregnancy testing and parenting classes. Another pro-life org has offered us some office space so we will look into that this week too. And until everything is rebuilt, we may do more sidewalk counseling than we ever have done since we don't quite have a building!" Davis said.
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Students for Life of America, a pro-life collegiate association, issued a statement after police announced a finding of arson. In it, the group's president, Kristan Hawkins, said it was disgusted by the "hate crime" committed against PDL, a "peaceful organization whose only aim is to help women facing unplanned pregnancies, and we are so thankful that no one was injured."
"The domestic terrorists who committed this heinous act must be found and brought to justice. Planned Parenthood of ABQ and other pro-abortion forces must denounce this act immediately. Violence has no place in our society, regardless of whether it is committed upon the most defenseless preborn child or a peaceful pro-life office," Hawkins said.
Hawkins said it was imperative that PDL's doors be opened again as soon as possible. To date, Planned Parenthood has not issued a statement about the fire.
The FBI assumed the suspect's vehicle was captured by a security camera on a neighboring building. It showed a white vehicle parking outside PDL's offices well before midnight and someone exiting and entering the vehicle.
However, the driver turned out to be a volunteer at the center. She spoke with a local news station and with police to explain her presence there around 11 p.m. Volunteers have access to the prayer chapel by a keypad on the door.
The driver, who has not been identified, said she was at the facility to pray, but noticed that the streetlights around the building were out.
LifeSiteNews reported last month that a Virginia maternity home was also the target of arson.