CASPER, Wyo. — Yellow emergency tape surrounded the new Wellspring Health Access abortion clinic and other nearby buildings on Wednesday morning as Casper fire and police investigated the scene for possible vandalism and arson.
Casper Fire-EMS responded to a fire call at around 3:50 a.m. at the building, located at 918 E. 2nd St.
East 2nd Street was blocked off in both directions between McKinley and Jefferson streets, but as of 10:31 a.m. the road was mostly open, with the exception of the north lane near the clinic.
The clinic has been the center of attention since it was announced that the nonprofit Wellsprings Health Access would provide abortions in a predominately conservative area.
The abortion clinic would be Wyoming’s first surgical clinic, Circle of Hope director Julie Burkhart previously told Oil City News.
On Wednesday morning, Burkhart and some of her staff stood in a parking lot across the street, watching and waiting for more information.
“We don’t know how extensive it is at this point,” she said, adding she hasn’t been allowed access to the building yet.
The clinic was slated to open mid-June, Burkhart said. Work on the building was essentially done, minus some finishing touches. She said security cameras had been installed and were active in the building.
Pro-life protesters have routinely gathered outside of the clinic shortly after it was announced, along with some pro-choice protesters. Anti-abortion signs decorated the windows of a ground floor apartment in the building next door to the clinic.
Police said in a statement that they are actively investigating the fire, which they believe to be intentional.