Break-in, vandalism reported at Kalispell abortion clinic

2014-03-05T07:30:00Z 2014-06-27T20:31:41Z Break-in, vandalism reported at Kalispell abortion clinicBy VINCE DEVLIN of the Missoulian missoulian.com

KALISPELL – The new offices of the only health care professional who provides abortion services in Kalispell were broken into late Monday night or early Tuesday morning and heavily vandalized.

Kalispell police and FBI agents were on the scene Tuesday.

Physician assistant Susan Cahill said All Families Healthcare had just opened at its new location at 505 First Ave. E. three weeks ago, and that the damage was extensive.

“There are people who have to deal with natural disasters, but this is an act of terrorism,” Cahill said. “That makes it in some ways even more painful.”

A receptionist discovered the break-in when she arrived at work at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Cahill said the vandal or vandals entered by breaking the window of a back door to the offices.

They did so just hours before the installation of a security system at the new office space was scheduled to be completed. Cahill said security cameras were set up and operational, but had not yet been hidden. She did not know if the cameras captured images during the break-in.

“I haven’t been allowed in,” Cahill said. “The only thing I saw was the lab, and the lab area is just a disaster. The police said it’s so destroyed, and they need to go through everything.”

“They said we’ll need to brace ourselves before we see it,” added Cahill’s husband, Steve Martinez. “This is local, and it’s very personal toward Susan.”

***

Blue Mountain Clinic Family Practice of Missoula issued a statement later Tuesday condemning what it called a “reprehensible attack.”

“Susan Cahill’s dedication to women and their families may be vilified by portions of our population, but it is through the strength of our movement and the bravery of our nurses, providers, and staff that Montana women are able to access safe and legal abortion services,” said the statement from Lynsey Bourke, director of development, outreach and communications at Blue Mountain.

Cahill has been a physician assistant in Kalispell for almost 40 years, and involved in family medicine since 1976.

Her clinic was firebombed in 1994 and forced to shut down for five months. A Washington man named Richard Andrews was convicted of firebombing it, and seven other clinics in four states that provided abortions, including ones in Missoula and Helena.

All Families Healthcare is not an abortion clinic, Cahill said, but a family practice that provides abortion services to women who request them.

“It’s a part of health care, in my mind,” Cahill said. “It’s part of the whole service. There are times women want children, and times they don’t.”

The PA said she did not know what would happen with her practice, or what to tell her patients.

“There’s no way I can answer that right now,” she said. “This is a very, very, very sad thing to me. So I’ll have to figure it out. Right now I don’t know. I have no idea what to tell them.”

***

Cahill said she gave law enforcement the name of a person she said had once offered her money to stop performing abortions, and also encouraged them to investigate who had purchased the building where she had previously leased office space.

“It was purchased by someone after someone offered to pay Susan to stop doing abortions,” Martinez said.

The building was purchased after Cahill turned down the financial offer.

“We were told the purchaser was going to occupy the space and Susan could not lease it any longer,” Martinez said. “But it’s sitting there empty now, and up for lease.”

Cahill said the new owner is listed as a corporation. All Families Healthcare was given three months to vacate the premises Nov. 7, she said.

“It’s my belief they wanted me out, and hoped I wouldn’t find another place,” she said.

All Families Healthcare moved to the new location Feb. 7, and Cahill began seeing patients there Feb. 11.

Reporter Vince Devlin can be reached at 1-800-366-7186 or by email at vdevlin@missoulian.com.

Copyright 2015 missoulian.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. Objective observer
    Report Abuse
    Objective observer - March 08, 2014 8:30 am
    EHHHH [loud buzzer sound] WRONG!
  2. Objective observer
    Report Abuse
    Objective observer - March 08, 2014 8:29 am
    Turns out that the perp is the son of avid anti-abortion parents. Not hard to predict.

    Arson, bombing, and property crime[edit]
    According to NAF, since 1977 in the United States and Canada, property crimes committed against abortion providers have included 41 bombings, 173 arsons, 91 attempted bombings or arsons, 619 bomb threats, 1630 incidents of trespassing, 1264 incidents of vandalism, and 100 attacks with butyric acid ("stink bombs").[12] The New York Times also cites over one hundred clinic bombings and incidents of arson, over three hundred invasions, and over four hundred incidents of vandalism between 1978 and 1993.[16] The first clinic arson occurred in Oregon in March 1976 and the first bombing occurred in February 1978 in Ohio.[17] Incidents have included:
    December 25, 1984: An abortion clinic and two physicians' offices in Pensacola, Florida, were bombed in the early morning of Christmas Day by a quartet of young people (Matt Goldsby, Jimmy Simmons, Kathy Simmons, Kaye Wiggins) who later called the bombings "a gift to Jesus on his birthday."[18][19][20] The clinic, the Ladies Center, would later be the site of the murder of Dr. John Britton and James Barrett in 1994 and a firebombing in 2012.
    March 29, 1993: Blue Mountain Clinic in Missoula, Montana; at around 1 a.m., an arsonist snuck onto the premises and firebombed the clinic. The perpetrator, a Washington man, was ultimately caught, convicted and imprisoned. The facility was a near-total loss, but all of the patients' records, though damaged, survived the fire in metal file cabinets.[21][22][23]
    May 21, 1998: Three people were injured when acid was poured at the entrances of five abortion clinics in Miami, Florida.[24]
    October 1999: Martin Uphoff set fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, causing US$100 worth of damage. He was later sentenced to 60 months in prison.[25]
    May 28, 2000: An arson at a clinic in Concord, New Hampshire, resulted in several thousand dollars' worth of damage. The case remains unsolved.[26][27][28] This was the second arson at the clinic.[29]
    September 30, 2000: John Earl, a Catholic priest, drove his car into the Northern Illinois Health Clinic after learning that the FDA had approved the drug RU-486. He pulled out an ax before being forced to the ground by the owner of the building, who fired two warning shots from a shotgun.[30]
    June 11, 2001: An unsolved bombing at a clinic in Tacoma, Washington, destroyed a wall, resulting in $6,000 in damages.[25][31]
    July 4, 2005: A clinic Palm Beach, Florida, was the target of an arson. The case remains open.[25]
    December 12, 2005: Patricia Hughes and Jeremy Dunahoe threw a Molotov cocktail at a clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana. The device missed the building and no damage was caused. In August 2006, Hughes was sentenced to six years in prison, and Dunahoe to one year. Hughes claimed the bomb was a "memorial lamp" for an abortion she had had there.[32]
    September 11, 2006 David McMenemy of Rochester Hills, Michigan, crashed his car into the Edgerton Women's Care Center in Davenport, Iowa. He then doused the lobby in gasoline and started a fire. McMenemy committed these acts in the belief that the center was performing abortions; however, Edgerton is not an abortion clinic.[33] Time magazine listed the incident in a "Top 10 Inept Terrorist Plots" list.[34]
    April 25, 2007: A package left at a women's health clinic in Austin, Texas, contained an explosive device capable of inflicting serious injury or death. A bomb squad detonated the device after evacuating the building. Paul Ross Evans (who had a criminal record for armed robbery and theft) was found guilty of the crime.[35]
    May 9, 2007: An unidentified person deliberately set fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Virginia Beach, Virginia.[36]
    December 6, 2007: Chad Altman and Sergio Baca were arrested for the arson of Dr. Curtis Boyd's clinic in Albuquerque. Baca's girlfriend had scheduled an appointment for an abortion at the clinic.[37][38]
    January 22, 2009 Matthew L. Derosia, 32, who was reported to have had a history of mental illness[39] rammed an SUV into the front entrance of a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota.[40]
    January 1, 2012 Bobby Joe Rogers, 41, firebombed the American Family Planning Clinic in Pensacola, Florida, with a Molotov cocktail; the fire gutted the building. Rogers told investigators that he was motivated to commit the crime by his opposition to abortion, and that what more directly prompted the act was seeing a patient enter the clinic during one of the frequent anti-abortion protests there. The clinic had previously been bombed at Christmas in 1984 and was the site of the murder of Dr. John Britton and James Barrett in 1994.[41]
    April 1, 2012 A bomb exploded on the windowsill of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, resulting in a fire that damaged one of the clinic's examination rooms. No injuries were reported.
    April 11, 2013 A Planned Parenthood clinic in Bloomington, Indiana, was vandalized with an axe.[42]

    And you can now add this crime.
  3. retiredmsla
    Report Abuse
    retiredmsla - March 05, 2014 7:05 pm
    Take a look at the jerk who was arrested. This was not an anti-abortion act. Rather, this was a dumb jerk of whom our communities have many. Walk down any street in Missoula or Kalispell and you'll find a dozen of these. All stupid, most look like the idiots they are.
  4. jus wundrin
    Report Abuse
    jus wundrin - March 05, 2014 10:29 am
    I hope they do too.
  5. jus wundrin
    Report Abuse
    jus wundrin - March 05, 2014 10:28 am
    When the perps are caught and we find out what their motivations were, but for now I will say that they were wrong regardless of intent. I never said that ALL anti abortion folks were violent, but its clear to say that you judge them so without any evidence. Not very objective now, is it. I believe in peaceful, and prayerful means to end this mostly racist infanticide that is allowed in this country.

    But I cant think of anything more violent than the destruction of the most innocent among us; those that have no voice to speak for themselves. Those who were never given a chance.

    Will folks that think abortion is wrong now find themselves on some terrorist watch list?

    Its coming.
  6. Salish
    Report Abuse
    Salish - March 05, 2014 8:50 am
    I hope that the police catch the cowards that did this. It shouldn't be too hard....they will be bragging about it all over town, no matter where they come from.
  7. Objective observer
    Report Abuse
    Objective observer - March 05, 2014 8:20 am
    Hey Jus Wundrin...where are you? Let's see you still try to make the case that anti-abortion folks aren't violent.
Missoulian Civil Dialogue Policy

Civil Dialogue Policy for Commenting on Missoulian.com

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Comments can only be submitted by registered users. By posting comments on our site, you are agreeing to the following terms:

Commentary and photos submitted to the Missoulian (Missoulian.com) may be published or distributed in print, electronically or other forms. Opinions expressed in Missoulian.com's comments reflect the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Missoulian or its parent company. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Our guidelines prohibit the solicitation of products or services, the impersonation of another site user, threatening or harassing postings and the use of vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language, defamatory or illegal material. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification. It's fine to criticize ideas, but ad hominem attacks on other site users are prohibited. Users who violate those standards may lose their privileges on missoulian.com.

You may not post copyrighted material from another publication. (Link to it instead, using a headline or very brief excerpt.)

No short policy such as this can spell out all possible instances of material or behavior that we might deem to be a violation of our publishing standards, and we reserve the right to remove any material posted to the site.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Search our events calendar