Abortion has long been a polarizing issue in American politics, but since the U.S. Supreme Court signaled last year that it would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, pro-life advocates have endured a sharp increase in threats, vandalism, and other attacks from those on the other side of the debate.
One recent example involved the Second Baptist Church in Palermo, Maine, which displayed a pair of signs on its property expressing opposition to abortion.
While it might not be surprising that a Baptist church espouses a pro-life worldview, reports indicate that an as-yet unknown number of pro-abortion activists were unwilling to accept a different opinion.
Over the weekend, members of the church found that both signs — stating “Every Life Matters” and “Abortion Is Still Murder” — had been doused with paint and two other messages had been left on church property.
The vandalism included the phrases “Abortion is our human right” and “Queer love 4 eva” painted on the exterior of the building.
— The Gateway Pundit (@gatewaypundit) September 13, 2023
Second Baptist Church has reportedly been vandalized on at least two other occasions since 2019.
Now, Republican state Rep. Katrina Smith is among those who believe the latest incident should be investigated as a hate crime. She is also a member of the church.
“This is an escalation of violence against the church,” Smith asserted. “For someone to come out and vandalize their house of worship, it really is intimidation, asking them not to continue to worship in the way that they are.”
She went on to opine that the incident appears to meet the hallmarks of a hate crime as defined under state law.
“This is a group of young children, families, just local people, and they have done nothing to speak out against any of the issues right now,” she said of the church members targeted by the act.
Condemnation of the act came from sources well beyond church members and the larger pro-life community.
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” declared Palermo Select Board Member Bob Kurek. “And even if that opinion is a strong opinion, it does not give people who disagree with that opinion the right to vandalize property or destroy property.”