DANVILLE – A man from Prophetstown has been charged in connection with an attempted arson of a proposed abortion clinic in Danville.
The attack comes just weeks after Danville’s city council passed an ordinance symbolically banning abortion and five months after arson damaged a Planned Parenthood clinic in Peoria.
The U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois said in a statement that Philip J. Buyno, 73, has been arrested and charged by federal criminal complaint with attempting to use fire to damage a building used in interstate commerce.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, Danville police officers responded to an alarm at 600 N. Logan Avenue in Danville around 4:30 a.m. early Saturday morning. They found Buyno stuck inside a maroon Volkswagen Passat that he had backed into the entrance of the building, which is being renovated for use as a reproductive health clinic. According to the affidavit, Buyno brought several containers filled with gasoline with him.
If convicted of attempted arson, Buyno faces a minimum penalty of five years up to twenty years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and three years of supervised release.
“Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) stands in solidarity with all reproductive health care providers in the state including the health center being built in Danville,” said PPIL President Jennifer Welch. “Because Illinois is a haven of reproductive rights in the midwest it is unfortunately also a target for anti-abortion extremists.”
Welch said that attacks on clinics are more than physical, that they rob a community’s ability to access the reproductive health care they need and deserve.
The city sits on the border with Indiana. Like other Illinois border cities, it has seen more people coming from neighboring states seeking reproductive services that are no longer legal in their home states.
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