A Wyoming Woman Faces Up to 20 Years in Prison for Setting Fire to Abortion Clinic
A Wyoming woman is set to be sentenced on Thursday after admitting to setting fire to a new abortion clinic in Casper. The clinic, which was also set to offer “gender-affirming care,” was completely destroyed in the fire.
Lorna Roxanne Green, the perpetrator, expressed regret during a hearing in July and acknowledged that her actions were wrong. She has been in custody since her court appearance on July 20.
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Ms. Green revealed that anxiety and nightmares drove her to commit the arson. She had purchased gas cans and aluminum pans the day before the incident, which she used to contain the flammable liquid. She broke into the clinic using a rock and proceeded to pour gasoline in multiple rooms before igniting the fire.
Video footage and a witness account corroborated Ms. Green’s statements about how she transported the gas cans and pans to the clinic. She made it clear to investigators that she opposed abortion.
The arson occurred just weeks before the clinic was scheduled to open. The extensive damage caused by the fire delayed the clinic’s opening by nearly a year.
Ms. Green was arrested on March 21 and indicted by a federal grand jury in May. Authorities were able to identify her with the help of tipsters, who came forward after a reward of $15,000 was offered in March.
While Wyoming has only two abortion clinics, the Wellspring Health Access is the only one that provides both surgical and pill abortions, as well as transgender treatments. The state legislature has passed laws restricting pill abortions, but a judge halted the ban pending a legal challenge.
The ongoing legal battle revolves around a state constitutional amendment that grants Wyoming residents the right to make their own health care decisions. The Wellspring Health Access, along with four women, two obstetricians, and a nonprofit organization, are challenging the ban.
Wyoming is the only state that specifically prohibits abortion pills, while other Republican-led states have included medication abortions in their broader abortion restrictions.
In March, Wyoming enacted a complete abortion ban, but it is not enforceable during the legal challenge. Currently, abortions are legal in the state until the unborn child reaches viability at around 24 to 26 weeks.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the abortion pill, mifepristone, should remain widely accessible while its regulatory approval is being contested. Mifepristone is used in combination with another drug, misoprostol, to terminate pregnancies of up to 10 weeks.
Medication abortions, also known as chemical abortions, account for more than half of all abortions in the United States.
What is the response from Wellspring Health Access regarding the fire and the future of the clinic?
Er, Wyoming. (Image source: Pixabay)