The Wichita Police Department, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are investigating an incident where a man brought a backpack with a “bomb” and other weapons into a Wichita women’s clinic that provides abortions.
Police were called to the South Wind Women’s Clinic Monday afternoon after a man entered the clinic attempting to “do business” carrying a backpack and a small wrapped box. When asked if he had anything dangerous in the box and backpack, the man answered affirmatively. The bomb squad was called, the clinic was briefly evacuated and no injuries were reported.
Moises Trevizo, age 19, entered the clinic to apply for a job. When questioned about the contents of his backpack, he honestly answered that it had knives and a pill bottle with a fuse coming out of the top. Apparently Mr. Trevino’s friend constructed a “handmade” device out of firecracker materials, which police state could have injured someone’s hands or fingers, but not walls. Mr. Trevizo is currently homeless and had all of his personal possessions in the backpack. He was booked for unlawful possession of explosives and on an outstanding warrant.
The South Wind Women’s Clinic opened in 2013, and is one of three in the state to provide abortions. They are located in the same building where Dr. George Tiller provided abortion services before he was murdered by anti-choice activist Scott Roeder in 2009.
South Winds founder Julie Burkhart released the following statement:
At Trust Women South Wind Women’s Center, the safety and security of our staff and patients is our highest concern. We take safety precautions seriously and hold frequent drills to make sure all staff know how to handle any emergency situation. Today, our staff and local law enforcement handled a threat to the safety of our patients and staff promptly and effectively. The systems that we have in place to protect our patients and staff worked. I applaud Wichita Police Department for their prompt action today.
While this turned out to be a relatively minor incident, it underscores the conditions under which staff at women’s clinics across the nation are working. Continued rampant right-wing extremist fear-mongering rhetoric as spewed by Fox News regarding a woman’s right to choose can only incite and inflame extremists to act in much more dangerous scenarios.
Featured image courtesy of etsy.com