Lorna Roxanne Green, a 22-year-old woman from Casper, Wyoming, has been arrested for allegedly setting fire to the Wellspring Health Access Clinic in Casper, Wyoming, which was slated to be the state’s only full-service abortion clinic. The incident occurred on May 25, 2022, and security footage shows a woman carrying a gasoline canister through the building just before the blaze. Green is believed to be the suspect captured on the footage. The clinic, which was scheduled to open on June 12, 2022, was damaged by the fire, and its opening has been delayed.
Green was taken into custody by local police, the FBI, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives on March 22, 2023, after almost a yearlong search. She faces charges of arson and, if convicted, could face between five and twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Casper, Wyoming’s second-largest city, has seen frequent protests against abortion, and the arson incident has sparked community outrage. Police have encouraged community members with information to come forward, emphasizing that the arsonist put people in danger.
The incident comes amid controversy surrounding new legislation banning abortions in most circumstances in Wyoming. Governor Mark Gordon allowed the law to take effect without his signature, and the clinic’s grand opening, originally scheduled for 2022, has been delayed until April 2023. However, the ban has been challenged in court, with some arguing that it violates the state constitution (Pritchett, 2023).
In response to Green’s arrest, Wellspring President Julie Burkhart expressed relief and said the focus could return to providing quality reproductive health care in a safe environment. Green is scheduled to appear in federal court in Cheyenne on March 24, 2023.