Indiana man arrested for taking axe to Planned Parenthood facility

By Kay Steiger
Friday, April 12, 2013 10:00 EDT
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Liz Carroll of Planned Parenthood Indiana
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A man who believes Planned Parenthood “kills babies” took an axe to a facility early Thursday morning in Bloomington, Indiana, according to the Herald Times.

Police arrested 27-year-old Benjamin D. Curell on felony charges of burglary and criminal mischief due to the “extensive damage” done to the Planned Parenthood facility. Police estimated that repair for the damage is estimated to cost more than $2,500. No patient records were compromised during the incident.

“I think we’re surprised by it,” Liz Carroll, vice president for patient services with Planned Parenthood, told the Indy Star. “I think it makes us feel committed to continuing our service to the community — and perplexed about why anyone thinks splashing paint and breaking windows is going to have any real impact.”

Police received a call about the break-in at 3:51 a.m. on Thursday. When police found Curell in the building’s lobby, he said the reproductive health services organization “killed” and “murdered” babies.

“He attributed his actions to his religious beliefs,” Capt. Joseph Qualters said in a news release. Curell is a member of Clearnote Church of Bloomington. “There was also red paint that had been splashed onto the building. Curell was taken into custody without incident.”

On Friday, the church released a statement about the incident, saying, “No one in the church knew about his plans. We are convinced Ben’s actions were not justifiable civil disobedience. The elders and pastors have met with Ben and admonished him.”

“Throughout history faithful Christians have confessed that from conception children bear the image of God,” the statement continued. “Therefore, we at Clearnote Church have encouraged and will continue to encourage Christians to peacefully and lawfully witness against the great evil of abortion.”

The National Abortion Federation estimates that since 1977, there have been more than 6,400 violent incidents against abortion providers in the United States and Canada, including eight instances of murder and 17 incidents of attempted murder.

Watch this news report, broadcast by WTIU on April 11, below.

h/t Maddow blog

Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
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