Maryland Pregnancy Centers Vandalized, Police Begin Investigations

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 4, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Maryland Pregnancy Centers Vandalized, Police Begin Investigations

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
June 4, 2004

Bowie, MD (LifeNews.com) — Last week two crisis pregnancy centers in Maryland were vandalized in what state police are considering issue-motivated hate crimes.

Someone broke into the main office of the Gabriel Project in Bowie May 24 and caused between $10-20,000 in damage by smashing windows, destroying computers, dumping food items from the refrigerator on walls and carpets, and spraying a dry-chemical fire extinguisher throughout the building.

The vandals also stole approximately $500 from the office’s petty cash box.

The Gabriel Project, which offers housing for homeless pregnant mothers and does not refer women to abortion businesses, was not the only organization targeted that weekend.

Meanwhile, Pregnancy Center West, in Cantonsville, was also vandalized that weekend. Unable to gain entry to the building, an air conditioning unit was damaged and two offices were flooded via hoses from outside.

About the same time, another center in Bowie, the Bowie-Crofton Pregnancy Center and Medical Clinic, received a suspicious call from a man who wanted to "vandalize Gabriel Project signs."

One such sign outside Mary Queen our Queen Catholic Cathedral in Baltimore, displaying the message "Pregnant? Need Help?" and advertising the 800 number for the Gabriel Project, had been destroyed a week earlier. The sign had been destroyed either early in the morning May 21 or the night before.

"The Gabriel Project is a very positive and heartwarming ministry that really gives women a choice," Paul Mulligan, executive director of the Gabriel Project told LifeNews.com. "I find that for someone who would do this, perhaps in the name of choice, is hypocritical."

Mulligan added that he had spoken with Maryland police, and the hate crimes division is actively investigating the acts of vandalism. Mulligan said police representatives told him that this would be a high-priority case because of the issue-oriented nature of the crimes.

While the damage caused the main Gabriel Project office to close for more than a week, the staff was able to relocate to a temporary office in order to continue their ministry. The Project consists of 85 churches in the Maryland/Washington DC area.

Pro-abortion activists often highlight the violence against abortion businesses to criticize the pro-life movement, which has never endorsed such tactics. They have even attempted to capitalize on public sentiments after the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Rep. Joann Davis (R-VA) recently defended Bush adviser Karen Hughes, whom pro-abortion groups were criticizing for comments she made in reference to the pro-abortion march in April, stating that respect for life has grown since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"Unfortunately, my colleagues have distorted her remarks into a misrepresentation of her actual sentiment, which I fully support," Davis said of Hughes.

Davis said abortion advocates are engaging in hypocrisy by calling pro-life groups "terrorists."

"[T]hese groups claim to speak for all women. It is these very same groups that have repeatedly called pro-life groups like Concerned Women for American ‘terrorists.” Yes, Planned Parenthood likes to use the word ‘terrorist” any time they deem it politically useful," Davis explained.

"Recently, I saw on Planned Parenthood Federation’s web site a page entitled ‘Eye on Extremism,”’ and under the heading titled ‘Terrorists and Extremist Organizations’ was a detailed listing of 14 leading pro-life organizations," Davis added.

ACTION: You can help these pregnancy centers by providing them with a donation to recoever from the damages. Refer to LifeNews.com when you make your contribution. Send your gift to The Gabriel Project, P.O. Box 2116, Bowie, MD 20718-2116 or Bowie Crofton Pregnancy Center & Medical Clinic, 4341 Northview Drive, Bowie, MD 20716.