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The investigation into the Wisconsin abortion office fire continues National

Madison, Wisconsin (AP) – Police have asked residents for help in finding those who vandalized and threw two Molotov cocktails at the office of a well-known Wisconsin lobby group that opposes abortion that has been damaged by fire.

No one has been arrested, and no suspects are in custody in a fire that was discovered early Sunday morning when someone driving to the nearest Madison airport noticed flames coming out of an office building, Madison Police Chief Sean Barnes told a news conference Monday.

A fire in the office of a family action in Wisconsin occurred after two Catholic churches in Colorado last week, including one known for its annual anti-abortion demonstration, were destroyed. And the police said two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the anti-abortion organization Sunday night in the suburbs of Salem, Oregon, after a failed intrusion attempt.

One with a Molotov cocktail, thrown into the office of a family action in Wisconsin, did not catch fire, and an investigation is underway into whether the other caught fire, the police chief said. The message “If abortion is not safe, then you are not safe” was applied to the exterior paint of the building.

No one was hurt, but Barnes said that if someone was in the office, “it could have gone differently.”

Barnes said he was unaware of threats to others, but warned that the investigation could be lengthy.

“I expect we can solve this problem, but we want to take our time to make sure we are doing it right,” he said.

Investigators from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting in the investigation. Barnes urged anyone who saw anything to contact police. He said local businesses were also contacted to find out if they had any evidence or anything recorded on surveillance cameras.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who is set to run for re-election in November, denied the attack on Monday when asked about it at a pioneering event in the suburbs of Madison.

“It was a horrible, horrible incident,” Evers said, adding that the perpetrator “should be arrested and brought to justice. This is unacceptable.”

“Violence does not solve the problems we face as a country,” Evers said.

Lobbying group president Juliane Upling said she believed the vandalism was a direct response to the leak of the draft court order. She said that “this attack does not frighten us, and instead strengthens the determination of law-abiding, healthy, daily people to stand up and push back.”

Wisconsin Family Action has been a prominent force in the state for years, advocating for laws restricting access to abortion, fighting for the repeal of Rowe v. Wade, and working on many other pressing social issues.

Politicians of both parties quickly condemned the vandalism.

Associated Press writer Todd Richmond contributed to this report.

The story was updated to correct what a fire at an anti-abortion organization in Oregon occurred Sunday night.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.

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