Wisconsin Planned Parenthood Bombing Draws FBI Vow To Protect Public Access To Abortion Clinics

FBI Vows To Protect Women's Access To Abortion Clinics

In the wake of the Planned Parenthood bombing in Grand Chute, Wis., the Federal Bureau of Investigation has reaffirmed its commitment to protecting women's access to reproductive health facilities.

Teresa Carlson, special agent-in-charge of the FBI's Milwaukee office, announced the arrest of 50-year-old Francis Grady for "arson of a building used in interstate commerce" and "intentionally damaging the property of a facility that provides reproductive health services" on Tuesday. She said in a statement, "The FBI will always investigate and bring to justice anyone who resorts to violence as a means to harm, intimidate, or prevent the public's right to access reproductive health services."

Around 7:30 p.m. Sunday evening, a bomb was placed on the windowsill of a Grand Chute Planned Parenthood clinic -- one of the three Planned Parenthood facilities in the state that offers abortion services. The bomb went off, causing a fire at the clinic that damaged one of the exam rooms. No one was hurt.

Grand Chute law enforcement was able to track down Grady after his white SUV, which was spotted leaving the scene shortly after the bomb went off, was involved in a traffic accident nearby. Grady is scheduled to make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Green Bay at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

U.S. Attorney James Santelle, Eastern District of Wisconsin, will be prosecuting Grady. He said in a statement:

"When the Congress passed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in 1994, it specifically empowered law enforcement to respond to those who engage in violent and other obstructive behaviors that interfere with access to reproductive services. The complaint that we filed today in federal court not only responds to the particular conduct of Francis Grady in committing arson at and causing damage to the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Grand Chute, but it also signals the continuing, strong commitment of federal, state, and local authorities to ensure access to clinics -- and to seek criminal penalties against anyone who would compromise that right."

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