Police in Casper, Wyoming, on Tuesday released surveillance footage as a part of an arson investigation after they say a person in May attempted to burn down a building set to become the state’s only procedural abortion clinic.
No injuries were reported in the fire that damaged the inside of the facility. The new footage shows a masked person carrying a gas can into the building. Police previously considered the potential that the fire was intentionally set, but Tuesday’s news disclosed a suspect in an active arson investigation.
Police described the person in the video as a 5 foot, 7 inch tall white woman of medium build. The footage shows the person wearing a dark hoodie and a surgical mask in the early hours of May 25.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Denver Field Division joined the Casper police’s investigation into the incident and is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for any valuable information that leads to the suspect’s arrest.
Photos from the scene show the future Wellspring Health Access clinic surrounded by police tape. A window was broken and smoke damage can be seen outside.
Wyoming currently only has one medication abortion provider — located in the city of Jackson, near the Idaho border, according a website for Wellspring Health Access. Because of the setback, the opening of the Casper clinic has been delayed.
The arson investigation comes as abortion rights have become a national flashpoint following a leaked Supreme Court’s draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
Several states have passed “trigger laws” that would restrict abortions immediately following the court’s ruling, should it overturn the historic precedent. Wyoming became one of such states in March, when Gov. Mark Gordon signed a bill that would ban most abortions.
Abortion-rights advocates nationwide say they have seen a rise in violent acts against clinics. Statistics collected by the National Abortion Federation show a recent increase in clinic trespassing and obstruction, death threats, and mail and internet harassment.
Contributing: Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY; The Associated Press.
This is original news content created by USA TODAY on rssfeeds.usatoday.com, Newslogic.in or any author at newslogic.in has no rights over this content. This content is auto fetched from the original post, the link to the original post is given below.