A damaged heating unit at the front of the Oregon Right to Life office from an arson reported Sunday, May 8, 2022 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)
This story was updated at 3:10 p.m. with additional information from Keizer police.
A person threw two Molotov cocktails at the Oregon Right to Life building in Keizer Sunday night after an unsuccessful attempt to break in, Keizer police said Monday.
The anti-abortion organization said in a news release that one of the devices exploded and caught the brick building on fire.
"There was a small fire with minimal damage and no one was in the building at the time," police said in a news release.
A heating unit in front of the office was damaged and some foliage was burnt, said Trevor Lane, spokesman for Oregon Right to Life. He said firefighters responded quickly and were able to contain the damage, leaving the building mostly unharmed.
The Keizer Fire District was called to the fire at 10:39 p.m. Sunday, spokeswoman Anne-Marie Storms said Monday.
Storms said nobody was harmed in the fire. She said she could not provide any other information about the incident since the Keizer Police Department was investigating it.
Keizer police said detectives and an arson investigator from the Salem Police Department responded to the scene.
The incident comes during a period of heightened tension over abortion in the U.S. following the leak last week of a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. Chief Justice John Roberts verified the opinion's authenticity on May 3, though no final ruling in the case has been made.
News of the draft ruling prompted a protest in support of abortion rights in Salem last week, with hundreds of people marching to the Capitol.
If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, abortion will remain legal in Oregon under state law.
The Oregon Right to Life office in Keizer (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)
“Understandably, our team is shaken up by this attack. We are committed to taking proper precautions to protect the safety of our staff as we move forward," said Lois Anderson, Oregon Right to Life executive director, in the news release. “We are thankful for the quick action of our first responders committed to maintaining a safe environment to operate in this community.”
Oregon Right to Life said in the news release it has long opposed anyone using force, intimidation or violence in "pursuing pro-life activities."
Keizer police asked anyone with information about the incident to report it to their tip line at [email protected] or call 503-856-3529.
Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.
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