New Orleans Women’s Clinic Becomes Latest Target Of Arson Attacks

A photo of the damage

A New Orleans women’s health organization was destroyed last week by an unknown arsonist, becoming the latest target of attacks on women’s health clinics in the south.

The organization, Women With A Vision, was likely singled out because it offers AIDS prevention help, HIV testing, and substance abuse assistance to sex workers, transgender women, poor women, and women of color. The clinic also does community outreach and education on those issues. Like two incidents in Georgia last week, no one was injured in the fire, but the clinic lost a good share of its resources.

The fire burned female and male condoms, HIV education posters, and suits donated for women to wear to job interviews. In a letter on their website, the group discusses the losses, and calls for donations from anyone who can help:

Thanks to the fast response of all of our supporters across the country, many of you have already heard that our office was broken into last night and set on fire. The worst damage was concentrated in our community organizing and outreach office where we store all of the resources we use to educate our community. We lost everything. We do not have an office to operate out of right now. Most of our office equipment and all of our educational resources were destroyed. Because of the targeted nature, we can only assume that this was intentional.

We are shaken to be sure, and deeply worried about how we will provide for our members while we are rebuilding. But the work will continue. This cannot and will not stop us from speaking out for people who do not have a voice.

Watch the director’s reaction to the fire:

Women’s health clinics in Georgia have been on heightened alert since the attacks there, and the FBI is investigating those fires. The New Orleans fire department is still looking into the fires at Women With A Vision, but witnesses reported seeing a man run from the building where the fire was set.