Someone Set A California Planned Parenthood On Fire

Photo: Mike Baker.
Presidential candidate and senator Marco Rubio didn't think the vote this week over defunding Planned Parenthood mattered. In fact, he didn't even bother showing up, calling it a "show vote" and instead, spent the week campaigning in Iowa.

Late Wednesday, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Southern California caught fire. Now, police have ruled it arson, saying someone threw a canister of flammable liquid through a window.

The clinic, in the town of Thousand Oaks, was empty and no one was injured. Police have not identified a suspect — but it’s easy to imagine that the event was related to the recent high-profile attacks against the women’s health organization.

In other words, the vote was unsuccesful (Planned Parenthood remains federally funded, at least for now), but it seems like it did matter.

"The toxic rhetoric directed at Planned Parenthood has dangerous consequences," California Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement. “It sends a signal that using violence to close clinics and intimidate health care professionals and women is okay. It is not."

When Senator Rubio said the vote didn't matter, it wasn't because he supports Planned Parenthood. To the contrary, the Florida Republican is so vehemently opposed to the organization that he didn't think the vote went far enough.

“You have these horrifying videos put out,” Rubio told the Des Moines Register, but, he said, Congress didn't fight hard enough to defund Planned Parenthood. “What do they say instead? ‘We’ll, we’re not going to win this vote anyway so we’ll do a show vote, but ultimately the president’s not going to sign it and we lost.'"

Sadly, the attack on the Thousand Oaks clinic isn't that big an outlier. Jenna Tosh, who runs the regional Planned Parenthood office that includes Thousand Oaks, told the AP that it fits a trend.

"This attack has been part of an uptick in violence against women's health centers and Planned Parenthood,” she said. "We are no strangers to harassment from those who oppose a woman's right to make her own medical decisions,"
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