MADISON (WKOW) — Local leaders and organizations are speaking out against violence after what Madison police believe was a targeted arson attack against an anti-abortion organization.
Governor Tony Evers condemned the attack, saying that violence was “never the answer.”
“We reject violence against any person for disagreeing with another’s view,” Gov. Ever tweeted.
We condemn violence and hatred in all forms, including the actions at Wisconsin Family Action in Madison last night. We reject violence against any person for disagreeing with another’s view.
Violence is not the way forward. Hurting others is never the answer.
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) May 8, 2022
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson also denounced the attack, calling it “abhorrent.”
This attack is abhorrent and should be condemned by all. https://t.co/CGnPmMJUmo
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) May 8, 2022
Two local groups on either side of the anti-abortion debate also released statements.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin (PPAWI) reaffirmed their values of health and safety for their staff and patients, saying that their work is “rooted in love.”
“We condemn all forms of violence and hatred within our communities,” PPAWI tweeted.
At Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, the health and safety of patients and health center staff is our top priority. Our work to protect continued access to reproductive care is rooted in love. We condemn all forms of violence and hatred within our communities.
— Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin (@PPAWI) May 8, 2022
Pro-Life Wisconsin wished for the safety of all pro-life advocates and those at Wisconsin Family Action. They also included a quote from Julaine Appling, the president of Wisconsin Family Action, which called the attack a “manifestation of the anger and the lack of tolerance from pro-abortion people toward those of us who are pro-life.”
Please pray for our dear friends at @WIFamilyAction and for the safety of all pro-lifers.
“This is the local manifestation of the anger and the lack of tolerance from pro-abortion people toward those of us who are pro-life.” – Julaine Appling https://t.co/etcrXQJM3D
— Pro-Life Wisconsin (@ProLifeWI) May 8, 2022
Several candidates running for state office in Wisconsin also released statements Sunday.
“DO NOT be scared of these extremists,” republican gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch tweeted. “God will never leave us.”
DO NOT be scared of these extremists. God will never leave us.
Please stand with us in the pro-life movement. We need your prayers and support because the fight isn’t going to be easy.
With your help, we can stand strong and WIN. https://t.co/dbN6Go2ChU
— Rebecca Kleefisch (@RebeccaforReal) May 8, 2022
Sarah Godlewski, Wisconsin’s Treasurer and a Democratic Senate candidate, condemned the attack in a statement.
“No one should resort to the kind of violence we have too often seen against abortion providers, doctors, and clinics – we defend our reproductive freedom by contacting our representatives, showing up at the ballot box, and marching in the streets,” she said. “Violence is never the answer.”
Republican candidate for governor Tim Michels also tweeted about the incident, saying, in part, “The attack on Wisconsin Family Action has no place in our Democracy.”