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Woman ordered to pay $300k for torching Wyoming’s only abortion clinic

Lorna Green, 22, said she had set fire to the clinic in order to quell her anxious nightmares

Io Dodds
Thursday 28 December 2023 21:08 GMT
Police release video of suspect who torched Wyoming abortion clinic

A woman who set fire to Wyoming's only full-service abortion clinic has been ordered to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution.

Lorna Roxanne Green, 22, was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of probation this September for breaking into the Wellspring Health Access clinic in Casper, Wyoming and setting it alight.

The fire in May 2022, just two weeks before the clinic was due to open, gutted the building and delayed its opening for nearly a year as Republican politicians pressed to outlaw nearly all abortions in the state.

On Tuesday, US district judge Alan Johnson ordered Green to pay the full $298,000 demanded by prosecutors, with $240,000 going to the clinic's insurer, $33,5000 to the building's owner, and $24,500 to the clinic director, Julie Burkhart.

"Not only did we have the emotional struggle and that trauma from the arson but also it was quite challenging for us financially. So I’m glad this is the final piece and it has been put to rest," Burkhart said after the verdict.

Today Wellspring is the only clinic in Wyoming that offers both pill and surgical abortions. Another clinic in Jackson that offered only pill abortions closed its doors on 15 December due to inflation in the form of rising rent and other costs.

The Cowboy State's GOP-dominated legislature has passed laws to ban almost all abortions, including via pills, but a judge has blocked those plans while she considers an appeal by four women and two non-profits, including Wellspring.

Green, a mechanical engineering student at Casper College, expressed remorse for her crime and pleaded guilty to arson back in June, receiving the minimum prison sentence rather than the 20 years she could have faced.

According to prosecutors, Green told police that she opposed abortion and suffered from debilitating anxious nightmares about what might happen if the clinic opened, which she hoped to quell by burning it down.

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