Lynnwood-based Next Step Pregnancy Center was vandalized early Wednesday morning by an unknown suspect.
According to the center’s Executive Director Heather Vasquez, the incident occurred at approximately 1:40 a.m. as was captured on security cameras.
Five of the building’s windows were broken on the front of the building. Graffiti was also spray painted on the front door, front walkway, back porch and wall. Among the messages: “If abortion isn’t safe, you aren’t either.”
Located at 19526 64th Ave. W. in Lynnwood, Next Step describes itself as a pregnancy counseling center that does not provide abortion referrals.
According to the center’s Executive Director Heather Vasquez, Next Step was able to quickly arrange for the windows to be boarded up and the graffiti removed.
Vasquez said employees at the center were not going to let the vandalism stand in the way of helping women in the community, and opened their doors at their usual time.
“A little broken glass and mean words were not going to deter us [from helping] clients who need supplies or ultrasounds [to come] in to see us,” Vasquez said. “A lot of clients came in shocked and dismayed as to why anyone would target us. In reality, we do good work and provide a good service to those seeking us out.”
While the pregnancy center’s security cameras did record the incident, the suspect –whom Vasquez believes to be a female — was completely covered in black clothing, including gloves, a hoodie and a mask. A police report has been filed and the pregnancy center is asking anyone with information about the vandalism to contact the Lynnwood police at 425-670-5600.
–By Lauren Reichenbach