The shattered front door of the EMW clinic, which was broken Wednesday night
The shattered front door of the EMW clinic, which was broken Wednesday night | Photos provided by clinic escorts

For the second time in three weeks, a person broke a window at the EMW Women’s Surgical Center, which is Kentucky’s only full-time abortion provider.

According to Anne — the executive director of EMW who declines to give her last name for security reasons — on the night of Oct. 26, an unidentified man ran from across the street, past protesters in front of the clinic, and hurled himself into the clinic’s window, shattering the glass before calmly walking away. Then this past Wednesday at 8 p.m., she said, surveillance footage showed another unidentified man threw a large rock through the clinic’s glass door.

“First he came there and kneeled down and prayed and talked to himself,” said Anne. “And then he came back around 45 minutes later with some kind of a blanket over his head and he sat down for another minute or so, and then he stood up and threw a rock through the window. And then he walked away.”

Though Anne said she filed a police report after both incidents, LMPD spokeswoman Alicia Smiley told Insider Louisville she had no information about either incident, other than police being called to the block on both days.

Anne said she has yet to receive information from the police about either incident and is concerned about how seriously they are taking the vandalism, adding, “Maybe this just isn’t a big enough issue for them, I don’t know.”

The boarded up window of EMW, which was broken last month by an unidentified man who ran through it
The boarded up window of EMW, which was broken last month by an unidentified man who ran through it

This year has seen an increase in arson and vandalism crimes against abortion providers and Planned Parenthood clinics across the country, and Anne adds that these two incidents are the only times the EMW clinic has been vandalized in its 20 years of operation.

Anne described the vandalism — as well as the weekly protests on Saturday mornings outside of the clinic as clients enter — as bullying, saying they will not be intimidated from providing a legal service for women and standing up for reproductive rights.

“We’re not angry, we’re not afraid, we’re just really sad that the mentality out there isn’t more understanding and compassionate for women,” said Anne. “They’re not going to intimidate us.”

***** UPDATE 3:30 p.m. *****

IL received a copy of the police reports for both incidents from LMPD through an open records request, both of which reflect what the clinic director told IL. The reports state that the suspect is wanted from 1st and 2nd degree criminal mischief, and that $1,600 of damage was done to the clinic’s windows.

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Joe Sonka is a staff writer at Insider Louisville focusing on government, politics, education and public safety. He is a former news editor and staff writer at LEO Weekly and has also freelanced for The Nation and ThinkProgress. He has won first place awards from the Louisville Metro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the categories of Health Reporting, Enterprise Reporting, Government/Politics, Minority/Women’s Affairs Reporting, Continuing Coverage and Best Blog. Email him at [email protected]


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