Self-described anarchists took credit for vandalizing four pro-life churches in Olympia, Wash., last weekend, referring to the houses of worship as "patriarchal sex abuse cults" that perpetuate the "violence of forced birth."
Puget Sound Anarchists, a website that publishes writings from "anarchists and anti-authoritarians in the Pacific Northwest," shared an anonymous post declaring a Mormon church, two evangelical churches, and a Catholic church had been given "facelifts" Sunday morning before services for their "ties to anti-abortion 'crisis pregnancy centers.'" The churches, according to the anarchists, "are terrified of people exercising bodily autonomy—whether aborting unwanted pregnancies or taking gender-affirming hormones/surgery or fucking whomever we want—because they need the rigid hierarchy of the family as the basic unit of control."
"We dumped red paint over the entryways and left messages of 'If abortions aren't safe, then neither are you,' 'Abort the church,' and 'God loves abortion,'" the anarchists said. "We are not appealing to state power for an end to patriarchal violence, but threatening: 'If abortions aren't safe, then neither are you.'"
The attack comes as churches, pro-life advocates, and some Supreme Court justices face heightened threats after a leaked decision revealed the Court is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade next month. Arsonists firebombed a pro-life advocacy group's office in Wisconsin days after, spray-painting, "If abortions aren't safe, then you aren't either" on its façade. A Department of Homeland Security memo that surfaced last week showed the agency is readying for potential violence in the wake of the decision.
Cean Williard, an executive pastor at Harbor Church, one of the four churches vandalized, told the Washington Free Beacon parish leaders were "saddened that any group would choose to communicate through intimidation, vandalism, or threats of violence" but that the "attack has not altered [their] resolve."
"All human beings are created in the image of God from the moment of conception with unique personhood, dignity, value, and worth. God has declared in his Word that he hates the shedding of innocent blood," Williard said in a statement. "Therefore, we are deeply opposed to the practice of abortion, which is the murder of image bearers of God. We will continue to stand in opposition to this horrible practice."
The Olympia anarchists said even though abortion will remain legal in Washington if Roe is overturned, "there are still local enemies who are doing everything in their power to make it as difficult and inaccessible as possible." They said such "enemies are vulnerable and easy to find," before sharing the address of a crisis pregnancy center and listing Olympia businesses that have donated to it. Abortion has been legal in Washington State since 1970.
The anarchists described crisis pregnancy centers, which typically provide free pre- and post-natal care to young mothers, as "religious fake clinics that manipulate mostly poor people into having & keeping children they don't want or aren't ready for and marrying whomever impregnated them whether or not that relationship is healthy or safe."
"Crisis pregnancy centers are exploitative and serve the aims of upholding the patriarchal family, a primary site of violence against women, queers, and children," they wrote.
The anarchists signed their missive "Jane's Revenge"—the same name used by the vandals who threw a Molotov cocktail into the pro-life office in Wisconsin, according to the Washington Times.
Puget Sound Anarchists has posted other anonymous submissions admitting to crimes of property destruction. In July 2021, Portland vandals shared pictures of an attack they launched on police squad cars, smashing a dozen cruisers' windows, windshields, lights, and side-view mirrors.
"We call on all abolitionists to take the defunding and disarming of the pigs into their own hands," the submitters wrote. "Be bold! Sabotage is fun!"
A legal notice on Puget Sound Anarchists states, "We do not condone or promote illegal, violent, and unlawful behavior or actions, or acts of intimidation against individuals or groups." On its contact page, the editors say they do not respond to media requests.