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Woman Ordered to Pay $298,000 in Restitution for Setting Fire to Wyoming’s Only Abortion Clinic

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A judge has ruled that Lorna Green, the woman who set fire to Wyoming’s sole full-service abortion clinic, must pay nearly $300,000 in restitution. This decision aligns with the prosecution’s request and comes after Green was sentenced to five years in prison for her actions, which significantly delayed the clinic’s opening.

Arson Targeted Abortion Clinic

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In 2022, Lorna Green set fire to the Wellspring Health Access clinic in Casper, Wyoming, just weeks before it was scheduled to open. The arson resulted in extensive damage to the building, forcing a delay in its opening for nearly a year.

Sole Abortion Clinic in Wyoming

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Following its eventual opening in April, Wellspring Health Access became the only abortion clinic in Wyoming. Another clinic in Jackson, which provided pill abortions, closed on December 15 due to rising costs.

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Judge’s Restitution Order

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U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson ordered Lorna Green, aged 22, to pay approximately $298,000 in restitution. This amount includes $240,000 allocated to Nationwide General Insurance Company, the clinic’s insurer.

Additional Restitution

In addition to the insurance company, Green is required to pay $33,500 to the building’s owner, Christine Lichtenfels, and $24,500 to Julie Burkhart, founder and president of Wellspring Health Access. Burkhart expressed her contentment with the ordered restitution.

Relief for Wellspring Health Access

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Julie Burkhart emphasized the financial challenges her organization faced due to the arson. She expressed relief that the restitution order marked the conclusion of this difficult chapter.

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Green’s Statement

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Lorna Green, who has shown remorse for her actions, attributed her crime to anxiety and nightmares related to the planned clinic. Although she had no apparent anti-abortion views on social media, she confessed to opposing abortion.

Details of the Arson

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Green drove from Laramie to Casper, broke into the clinic, and ignited gasoline she had poured in trays and splashed on the floor. The investigation eventually led to her arrest in March after a reward of $15,000 generated tips from the public.

Guilty Plea and Sentencing

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In June, Green pleaded guilty to arson and received the minimum prison sentence in September. She could have faced up to 20 years behind bars for her actions.

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Arson Amid New Abortion Laws

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The arson occurred concurrently with Wyoming’s enactment of new laws seeking to ban abortion in nearly all cases. These laws, which included the nation’s first explicit ban on abortion pills, are currently on hold due to a lawsuit filed by four women and two nonprofits, including Wellspring Health Access.

Legal Battle Over Abortion Laws

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Following hearings on the lawsuit on December 14, Wyoming District Judge Melissa Owens is now deliberating on whether to rule on the contested abortion laws. Any decision she makes is likely to be appealed, potentially bringing Wyoming’s abortion laws before the state Supreme Court.

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