A suspicious package was found near a 40 Days for Life prayer vigil Friday in Dallas, Texas, prompting pro-life advocates to call the police and the bomb squad.
WFAA News 8 reports police later determined that the suspicious package was a hoax, quite possibly meant to scare pro-life advocates who peacefully pray outside a nearby abortion clinic.
Pro-Life Dallas said the suspicious package was the second target this week against pro-lifers’ peaceful, prayerful work. On Oct. 11, the group said a man also vandalized the site and left behind a beheaded doll with the word “pro-choice” written on it.
“Our prime concern is for the safety of everyone in the area,” said Catholic Pro-Life Committee Executive Director Becky Visosky in a statement. “We are praying for a quick and peaceful resolution.”
On Friday morning, the pro-life group said volunteers who were praying with 40 Days for Life noticed the suspicious package and called 911. The 40 Days for Life vigil in Dallas reaches out to people going into the Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center, an abortion facility.
The Dallas Police Department said someone left a black package with an unknown object inside in the area of the pro-life vigil. Police said the area was evacuated while a bomb squad examined the package.
Police said the device was not an explosive or chemical but a “hoax” bomb” intended to “incite fear.”
“The police have investigated the mysterious package left near the 40 Days for Life – Dallas vigil, and the package, while appearing to be threatening, thankfully did not contain any dangerous or explosive materials,” Pro-Life Dallas said in a statement.
“We are strongly advising caution to everyone who is participating in the vigil. If you witness any suspicious activity or packages, please immediately contact the authorities,” the pro-life group said.
Pro-lifers increasingly have become targets of vandalism, threats and harassment.
In two separate incidents this year, two men allegedly threatened to kill pro-life advocates outside abortion facilities in California and Florida. And in early February, violent threats against a California pro-life leader prompted him to cancel a pro-life rally, LifeNews reported.
Earlier this week, Students for Life reported several of their college pro-life clubs had displays vandalized by pro-abortion students.
In March, a pro-life student display at the University of Colorado at Boulder was vandalized, and another one was vandalized in April at Texas State University. In 2016, pro-abortion feminists vandalized a student pro-life display at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, LifeNews reported. The university’s student Democrats club later praised the feminists’ actions.
And in June, someone stole a pro-life trailer from Arkansas Right to Life that displayed how many unborn babies die in abortions each year.