Fire At Tennessee Planned Parenthood Was Arson
Authorities have determined a New Year’s Eve fire that destroyed a Planned Parenthood in Knoxville, Tennessee was an arson.
The news was revealed Thursday in a joint statement from the Knoxville Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). They also said that a perpetrator hasn’t been found.
Ashley Coffield, president, and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee & North Mississippi called the arson attack an “appalling and heartbreaking act of violence towards Planned Parenthood, our patients, and our community.”
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have mourned at this health center,” added Coffield. This planned parenthood was also briefly attacked by a gunman who shot through the building’s doors on Jan 22, 2021, also the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
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Alexis McGill Johnson, CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation, also decried the attack in a statement. “It must be made clear that these hateful acts go so much further than just property damage,” Johnson began. “They harm the patients who depend on safe Planned Parenthood health centers, staff, and providers to receive trusted, essential health care services.”
Reproductive rights were a big issue of the last year, with several states such as Mississippi and Texas signing local laws to restrict women’s access to abortions in those conservative states. There are also many states that have abortion bans set to take effect if the Supreme Court’s decision in the Roe v. Wade case is ever overturned.
Anyone in the community with knowledge of the incident is encouraged to share their knowledge with the Knoxville Fire Department by calling 1-800-762-3017 or emailing KFDArson@knoxvilletn.gov. A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to prosecution.
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