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PPIL President Vows to Rebuild and Open Doors Early 2024

PEORIA, IL - Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) held a press conference immediately following the sentencing of Tyler Massengill to 10 years in prison and pay a fine of $1,450,000 for malicious use of fire and an explosive to damage, and attempt to damage, the Planned Parenthood of Illinois Peoria Health Center in Peoria, Illinois. Massengill pleaded guilty one month after the attack. Speakers included PPIL President and CEO Jennifer Welch, Congressman Eric Sorenson and PPIL staff.

“Today, justice has been served and a powerful message has been sent that acts of violence against Planned Parenthood of Illinois will not be tolerated,” said Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of PPIL. “When someone attacks one of our health centers they do more than damage a building. They rob the community of essential sexual and reproductive health care like birth control, STI testing and treatment, cancer screenings and gender-affirming care. We stand in solidarity with the community in Peoria that continues to heal from this traumatic event.”

Although no patients, staff or volunteers were harmed during the attack, the damage to the health center was extensive, costing over $1M to rebuild. The Peoria health center is slated to reopen in early 2024.

“In January, the Peoria community had to face the horror of a disgusting attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic that provides important reproductive care to thousands of our Central Illinois neighbors,” said Sorensen. “I am pleased to see that justice has been served for this community and our amazing health care professionals. Violent attacks against Planned Parenthood clinics or against those who provide or receive this essential health care have no place in our society. I am proud to stand with organizations like Planned Parenthood to make sure access to safe and legal reproductive care is available to all women and families who need it, even in the face of these threats.”

Massengill’s arrest followed investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office; the Peoria Police Department; and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Peoria Fire Department is also participating in the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna and Trial Attorney Erin Monju of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section at the U.S. Department of Justice.

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