The man who intentionally crashed a stolen truck into a Planned Parenthood clinic in New Jersey on Friday, harming numerous people including a pregnant woman, did so after posting anti-abortion propaganda to the organization’s Facebook page about six months earlier.
Prosecutors arrested Marckles Alcius (not Marcus Aurelius) and charged him with attempting to cause widespread injury or damage. The police say the suspect intentionally crashed into the building to cause harm, but stopped short of stating his motive was related to his anti-choice beliefs… so far.
Officials did not immediately disclose a possible motive for the attack or release more details.
“The investigation is ongoing but at this point we do not have any information that he had a connection to this clinic,” prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Katherine Carter said in an email.
Carter would not release what evidence led prosecutors to believe the crash was intentional.
The authorities say they don’t yet have any connection between Alcius and the clinic, but it’s possible that’s because they haven’t delved into his social media. The attacker shared an article from anti-abortion group Live Action in July of last year. Users on Twitter were quick to point it out.
And here's a "Marckles Alcius" posting anti-choice post by Alveda King to Planned Parenthood's Facebook last year pic.twitter.com/7ITb0fmA6l
— Tara Murtha (@taramurtha) February 17, 2018
Fortunately, the recently elected Democratic governor of New Jersey understands that this attack on Planned Parenthood (and women’s rights) is no coincidence.
Gov. Phil Murphy responded to the news Friday night.
“Angered by this week’s truck attack against a @PPFA clinic in East Orange. At a time when women’s health care is under siege, we must protect and defend safe and affordable health care access for all,” the governor said on Twitter.
Angered by this week's truck attack against a @PPFA clinic in East Orange. At a time when women's health care is under siege, we must protect and defend safe and affordable health care access for all. https://t.co/Ef9YEfjfXs
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) February 17, 2018
If Alcius hoped to prevent abortions by hurting those who were at a Planned Parenthood, his actions may, ironically, have given people even more resolve to defend and support the organization.
Planned Parenthood says there was “extensive” damage to the facility, but fortunately it looks like everyone involved in the attack will live. This could have been much worse, like the shooting in Colorado a few years ago. And it’s possible next time will be worse if conservatives continue to demonize Planned Parenthood and the legitimate medical procedures they perform all under the guise of being “pro-life.”