First Image, which operates three pregnancy centers in Oregon, announced on social media that their Gresham Pregnancy Resource Center was set on fire around 3 a.m. on Friday. The police and fire departments, after being immediately alerted of the fire by the center's alarm system, quickly arrived on the scene. The fire then was also quickly extinguished.
A Christian's Response To Arson
According to First Image, the fire's damage was extensive even though it was contained in one room. The center's building was damaged by smoke and additional water, which meant temporary closure of operation to pave way for repairs. The good news is nobody was hurt.
Authorities are still investigating who the perpetrators of the crime are and their motive since there were no messages left behind. But the initial investigation has shown that an incendiary device was thrown by perpetrators through the building's window and started the fire. CBN News highlighted that authorities, particularly the Oregon Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, find the cause of the fire to be "suspicious in nature."
First Image CEO Luke Cirillo lamented the outrage directed at their centers out of a misunderstanding and misrepresentation of what they do for the hundreds they served in the last ten years. Cirillo admitted being hurt by the arson and stressed its destructive, violent nature compromises their team and client's safety.
"This moment in our culture is volatile, and the spillover into violence is deeply destructive to the fabric of our communities. We reject and refuse to have any part in the culture of hate. Jesus has modeled a different way. It's the way of love. That narrow way includes, as a challenge to us all, the love of those who hate us," Cirillo said.
"We are absolutely committed to continuing our work to serve women who may be pregnant with dignity and respect, providing practical and professional clinical services," he added.
Cirillo also disclosed that the incident took place amidst plans for a full renovation of the Gresham Center, which they intend to be more warm, welcoming, and beautiful for the clients they serve and always care for. The CEO also requested prayers in the upcoming week for their team and centers. He also asked for donations and volunteers for the center's renovation.
In ending, Cirillo reminded the public to always look to the example of Jesus Christ that he has seen in many people they serve in their community.
Pregnancy Centers Under Attack
The fire is the second incident experienced by the pregnancy center in a matter of weeks. The first incident took place in First Image's South East Portland Resource Center, which was vandalized.
Live Action News raised that the Gresham fire is the fourth arson incident committed against pro-life organizations after the United States Supreme Court draft opinion overruling Roe v. Wade leaked to the public. The other cases involve the Wisconsin Family Action, the Oregon Right To Life Office, and New York's CompassCare Pregnancy Services, which were all set ablaze last May.
Jane's Revenge admitted the arson attack on the Wiscon Family Action pregnancy center, as well as, the vandalism of Florida's Respect Life Office. Jane's Revenge left the anarchy symbol and threatening messages, "If abortions aren't safe then neither are you," in the centers. The terrorist group also took ownership of the vandalism of Capitol Hill Crisis Pregnancy Center early this month, as per The Daily Signal.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that pro-choice militants are targeting pregnancy crisis centers all over the country. The media outlet highlighted that experts fear the attacks may drive people away from the pregnancy centers.