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Destructive Abortion Rights Protest

Mother and Child Center, school van, businesses hit

Demonstrators leave a trail of graffiti and broken windows, including to the entrance to the Mother and Child Center at 1500 N.E. 41st. Ave., a grassroots nonprofit that provides services to people who have decided to have children . The damage took place Saturday, the day after the Supreme Court erased the constitutional right to abortion, police said. PORTLAND POLICE BUREAU PHOTO

An abortion rights protest in Portland turned destructive over the weekend, with some people marching down streets in the Hollywood District breaking windows on businesses and vehicles and scrawling graffiti, police said.

Officers were monitoring the crowd but no one was arrested because they “did not have the resources to intervene at the moment,” police said in a statement Sunday. City police officers were also responding to a shooting, a felony assault, a community festival and drivers doing stunts in various parts of the city at the time, police said.

The protest against Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and leave abortion decisions up to the states began with a gathering of about 200 people at a park on Saturday.

A group of about 60 of them — most dressed in black — marched from Grant Park along streets and smashed windows on banks, coffee shops, a Portland school van, a Tesla and a nonprofit that provides assistance to pregnant people. Most of the damage occurred between 10:05 p.m. and 10:40 p.m. police said.

The Mother and Child Education Center does not steer people away from abortion, according to Executive Director Maura White. It provides services to people who have decided to have children, she said.

Police had warned her that the building might be damaged, she said.

The building was left with about $10,000 in damage, including smashed windows and graffiti.

Operating out of a converted home at 1515 N.E. 41st Ave., the grassroots organization is it staffed mostly by volunteers to provide free resources for pregnant moms and mothers.

During the height of the Coronavirus Pandemic, for example, the center was able to remain open by following public health safety procedures and operating from the open space of the center’s front porch.

The Portland Police Bureau is asking businesses and community members with surveillance cameras between the areas of Grant Park and the Hollywood District to view footage and see if they captured any evidence that might assist police.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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