Vandals set a fire inside the Madison headquarters of the anti-abortion group Wisconsin Family Action late Saturday or early Sunday, an official with the group said.
Two group staff returned to their office at 2801 International Lane mid-morning Sunday to find shattered glass from a broken window covering a corner office riddled with burned books and furniture. The building was also hit with graffiti depicting a coded anti-police slogan and the phrase, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.”
Madison Police Department Chief Shon Barnes said the department alerted its federal partners and are investigation the arson with Madison Fire Department.
“It appears a specific non-profit that supports anti-abortion measures was targeted,” he said in the statement.
Police spokesperson Stephanie Fryer confirmed arson investigators responded in the early morning and “are actively working this case at this time.”
Julaine Appling, president of the lobbying and advocacy organization, said she and events coordinator Diane Westphall were getting ready for a Mother’s Day brunch in Watertown when a building staff member informed her of the break-in. A person on the way to the airport before dawn saw smoke rising from the building and called police, Appling said.