AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — One day after an Amherst pregnancy clinic was significantly damaged by fire, patients are being re-routed for services.
Amherst Police, the FBI and the Erie County District Attorney’s Office are looking into the incident, which Amherst Police said is investigated as suspected arson.
The FBI issued this statement Wednesday: “While we have no comment on the specific incident, the FBI remains vigilant and continues to work everyday with our law enforcement partners to detect and disrupt any potential threats of violence in our community.”
As Compass Care employees await details on the ongoing criminal investigation, they’re helping patients get the services they need.
Compass Care’s Amherst location on Eggert Road will not be reopening anytime soon. Glass is shattered and equipment and office supplies inside were destroyed by fire. Compass Care offers health information on abortion, birth control and pregnancy and is pro-life.
The agency, which sees about 20 patients a day, is plugging along at an undisclosed location. Compass Care also has an office in Rochester.
“We’re going to continue to serve as many women as we possibly can, this will never stop us,” said James Harden, the president and CEO of Compass Care.
The medical provider is reaching out to patients.
“Our scheduling team is doing a fantastic job rerouting everybody, making sure they know where to go,” Harden said.
Harden firmly believes the medical office was firebombed. He says the agency had been getting online threats for months.
“Their intent is to stop the services of pro-life pregnancy centers, to stop their ability to serve women, with an ethical medical care and resources they so desperately need,” Harden said.
The side of the building was spray-painted with the message “Jane was here,” a reference to an underground group in support of abortion called Jane’s Revenge. The incident and investigation now playing out is becoming a national story as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce a decision on Roe v. Wade in the coming weeks.
CompassCare said they do have plans on rebuilding and have handed over surveillance video of the incident to the FBI.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.