A women’s clinic in New Orleans appears to be the victim of an arson attack, making it the third attack on women’s health clinics in the south in the last week.
Women With A Vision offers “safe, respectful, free of judgment spaces for women and girls impacted by the sex trade and street economies.” Their work includes breast cancer awareness, HIV prevention and reproductive health services. The executive director Deon Haywood told WWLTV she believes they were targeted because the group works with poor women and sex workers. “I mean, we have serious health issues here and we reach the people most at risk for these diseases, and so that in itself, really hurts,” Haywood said. “I’m trying not to get emotional, but that hurts, that someone would target us like this.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms are conducting a joint investigation into similar arson attacks in Georgia. No word yet if they plan a similar investigation in Louisiana.
The fire reportedly burned female and male condoms, HIV education posters and suits donated for women to wear to job interviews to help transition them out of street work.
Two fires in Georgia. An earlier attack in Wisconsin. Another in Texas. As conservatives ratchet up anti-woman, anti-choice rhetoric and match those attacks with legislation the violent right appears to have taken this as a cue to ratchet up their actions as well. Knowing that the 2012 presidential campaign will only become more heated, and the legislation that follows in 2013 more restrictive and women’s rights activists have plenty to be concerned about, including their own safety.
Photo from quintanomedia via flickr.