Planned Parenthood clinic damaged in hatchet attack reopens

AP News
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Posted: Nov 30, 2015 8:46 PM
Planned Parenthood clinic damaged in hatchet attack reopens

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A Planned Parenthood clinic in New Hampshire reopened Monday nearly six weeks after police say it was badly damaged by a hatchet-wielding boy.

The Claremont clinic reopened three days after a man opened fire on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing a police officer and two people accompanying friends to the clinic. The rampage touched off an hourslong standoff and shootout that left nine others injured and a 57-year-old man under arrest.

In New Hampshire, Claremont Police Chief Alexander Scott said officers are cognizant of what happened in Colorado and are keeping an extra eye on the facility. He said the clinic has installed internal security upgrades since the Oct. 21 vandalism.

The Claremont office provides a range of health care services to men and women and referrals for abortions, though it doesn't conduct abortions, according to its website.

"Our doors in Claremont reopened today which is welcome to news to the women, men and young people who rely on our health center for medical care," Jennifer Frizzell of Planned Parenthood Northern New England said in a statement.

"Despite the tragic events of the past weekend and the unfortunate vandalism in the Claremont community last month, our first priority is always the safety and health of our patients," she added.

Police have refused to disclose the age of the alleged intruder or give details of the criminal case, citing juvenile court privacy rules. They say the boy used a hatchet to destroy computers, plumbing fixtures, phones and medical equipment inside the clinic.

Officials still are investigating whether the vandalism is linked to the word "murderer" spray-painted on the same building Oct. 6. Scott said patrols of the clinic area were increased as a result of that instance and will remain that way.

"Of course what happened in Colorado only further heightens that," Scott said, adding the downtown location of the clinic puts it in an area frequented by police.

Until October, Planned Parenthood had operated a clinic without incident for 18 years in the city of about 13,000 in western New Hampshire, Scott said.

Frizzell, vice president for public policy for Planned Parenthood Northern New England, has previously said the vandal caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Funding for Planned Parenthood has been under attack nationwide since July, when an anti-abortion group released an undercover video showing agency officials discussing the disposition of fetal tissue.