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Virginia church vandalized after Supreme Court ruling on abortion

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A church in Fairfax County, Va., was vandalized with abortion-related graffiti over the weekend, according to authorities, who said a smoldering fire also was found outside the building.

County police and firefighters were called to St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Reston at 6:45 a.m. Sunday and found graffiti on a sign at the church entrance and in “three additional locations on the back of the building,” police said in a statement. They said a smoldering fire, for which “an accelerant was likely used,” was found in mulch outside the church.

Police said the spray-painted graffiti related to Friday’s Supreme Court decision overturning the constitutional right to an abortion, which sparked angry protests in cities across the country. Photographs taken by WJLA showed the base of a church sign had been spray painted with the words, “THIS WONT STOP.”

“We continue to have increased patrols at places of worship, connect with community faith leaders, and are working with our regional law enforcement partners to determine who is responsible,” police said in a statement.

A woman who answered the phone at St. John Neumann on Monday referred questions about the vandalism to the Archdiocese of Arlington, where a spokesman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The incident came as police are investigating weekend vandalism at the antiabortion Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center in Lynchburg, Va., a roughly 3½-hour drive southwest of D.C. In that incident, police found multiple windows had been smashed and the exterior walls of the center marked with graffiti, including one message that read, “IF ABORTION AINT SAFE YOU AINT SAFE!”