Indiana Man Attacks Planned Parenthood With Ax Because of ‘Religious Beliefs’

After incessant demonizing of Planned Parenthood during public testimony over the state's TRAP bill, is it any wonder someone decided to attack a reproductive health center?

A 27-year-old Indiana man is being held by police after taking an ax to a Bloomington, Indiana, Planned Parenthood clinic. Special form axe via Shutterstock

A 27-year-old Indiana man is being held by police after taking an ax to a Bloomington, Indiana, Planned Parenthood clinic and then vandalizing it with red paint. The attack, which happened in the early hours of the morning, involved no staff or patients, as the office was closed.

According to the local ABC affiliate, Benjamin Curell said he damaged and vandalized the clinic because of his “religious beliefs.” Bloomington police Capt. Joe Qualters told the news organization, “The suspect made statements indicating the facility was targeted due to abortions being performed there … He stated his intent was to damage the building because they ‘kill’ and ‘murder’ babies. He attributed his actions to his religious beliefs.”

“We are of course working closely with local law enforcement regarding this incident, but no matter what the case, this individual will not deter us from continuing our mission to provide preventive care such as birth control, Pap tests, testicular and breast exams, and STD testing and treatment, in addition to abortion services, in Bloomington,” said Planned Parenthood of Indiana CEO Betty Cockrum in a statement. “While the center is only open for limited purposes today, it will again be fully up and running as soon as possible. We will protect our patients and our staff, and we will rise above, as we always do.”

Planned Parenthood of Indiana has been the focus of Indiana legislators the last few sessions; in 2011 then Gov. Mitch Daniels attempted to defund the group (the federal government blocked that attempt), and this year anti-choice legislators are trying to pass a targeted regulation of abortion provider (TRAP) law, SB 371, to block Planned Parenthood’s Lafayette clinic from offering medication abortions. Throughout the testimony for the bill, anti-choice state groups demonized the Planned Parenthood. Is it a big surprise that an anti-choice activist would eventually take action against one of the group’s clinics?