NEWARK, Del. — “Our doors stay open,” Ruth Lytle-Barnaby, president of Planned Parenthood of Delaware, told some 150 people who filled the New Ark United Church of Christ here Jan. 11 at a solidarity rally against an arson assault against the Newark Planned Parenthood Clinic.
The clinic, which provides abortion and family planning services, was firebombed Jan. 3 at around 2:15 a.m. Clinic surveillance video shows Samuel James Gulick, 18, throwing a Molotov cocktail through the clinic’s front window, shattering the glass. The device exploded, starting a fire that fortunately burned itself out and did limited damage.
Gulick was also taped spray-painting the phrase “Deus Vult,” Latin for “God wills it,” in large red letters on the front of the building. The FBI said they found that phrase, along with threats against abortion providers and ultra-right images on Gulick’s Instagram page. One of his postings compares those who support access to abortion to Nazis.
Gulick was arrested by the FBI Jan. 4 and charged with arson and vandalism.
At the solidarity protest meeting, Jane Coulter, a teacher from Wilmington, told the Militant, “A friend called me and told me about the event, so I hopped in the car to get here. We have to stand up and answer attacks like this.” Several students from the University of Delaware, which is adjacent to the clinic, also attended. Speakers included Jerry Clifton, the city’s mayor.
“We’ve been here for 85 years. We’ve weathered other storms,” Lytle-Barnaby told CNN, but arson “is a new level for us.”
“We will not let this or any other acts keep us from providing reproductive health care,” she said. “I think everybody should be able to access health care without fear, shame or stigma.”