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Search continues for Fort Myers Planned Parenthood arsonist

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Posted at 9:47 PM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 21:47:12-04

FORT MYERS, Fla — Today Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett declined to comment on two key cases that are the bedrock of women's right to abortion access.

The topic of abortion rights has been the center of many conflicting opinions.

Just this past weekend, a suspect tried to torch a Planned Parenthood in Fort Myers.

Deputies are still searching for that suspect tonight.

"I don't think that's unusual for anyone going through that nomination process, and the confirmation process," Patricia Brigham, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida, says.

When pressed if Roe V. Wade was wrongfully decided, today Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett stated it would be wrong of her to comment as a sitting judge.

Brigham says it's no surprise.

On Saturday, Planned Parenthood on Commerce Park Drive in Fort Myers was the target of an arson attack.

The staff didn't realize what happened until Monday.

“Ironically or coincidently, we were practicing an active shooter drill, which we regularly, and as part of that drill, we walk around the building,” Stephanie Fraim, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida says.

Fraim says that's when staff members saw the burn marks on the side of the building.

Staff looked over security footage to figure out what had happened.

“A person that looked like a man getting out of a car and throwing something at the building, and we could see the flames,” Fraim says.

Fortunately, the damage was minor.

Today there are just a couple of burn marks left of the attack.

“There has been a lot of hostility directed at our organization and the health care we provide and directed at the patients who come to us for care,” Fraim says.

But she remains confident in the security measures that are in place.

“We will always review all of our safety measures at a time like this and make a determination about if and how we should increase those measures,” Fraim says.

Deputies say the suspect is heavyset, appears to be 22-29 years old, and about 5'11 to 6'3 feet.

They also say he was driving a dark color 2017-2019 Kia Rio.

If you have any information, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS.