Arsonist who firebombed Wisconsin pro-life office sentenced to 7.5 years in prison

Debris is scattered across the office of the Wisconsin Family Action headquarters, which was attacked with two Molotov cocktails and graffiti following the leaking of a draft opinion of a U.S. Supreme Court case that could overturn Roe v. Wade.
Debris is scattered across the office of the Wisconsin Family Action headquarters, which was attacked with two Molotov cocktails and graffiti following the leaking of a draft opinion of a U.S. Supreme Court case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. | Twitter/AlexanderShur

A man has been sentenced to over seven years in prison for firebombing a pro-life advocacy group's headquarters as one pro-life activist insists that his punishment did not go far enough. 

On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Wisconsin announced in a statement that Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury was sentenced to 7.5 years in federal prison for firebombing the headquarters of the Christian conservative pro-life activist organization Wisconsin Family Action in Madison, Wisconsin, in May 2022.

The office suffered fire damage from Molotov cocktails thrown into the building, and the exterior of the facility was defaced with graffiti, reading, "if abortions aren't Safe then you aren't either."

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The attack was part of a trend of violence and vandalism targeting churches and pro-life advocacy organizations following the May 2022 leak of the U.S. Supreme Court's draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, indicating that the justices were poised to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately reversedRoe a month and a half later, determining that the U.S. Constitution does not contain a right to abortion. 

"Roychowdhury's arson was an act of domestic terrorism," said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin Timothy O'Shea. "Domestic terrorism is cowardly and profoundly undemocratic. It is not speech; it is not an exchange of ideas; instead, it is an attempt to harm or frighten one's fellow citizens, thus driving Americans apart and weakening the fabric of our democratic society."

U.S. District Court Judge William Conley offered similar rhetoric during Roychowdhury's sentencing hearing, asserting that the perpetrator "engaged in a deliberate act of terrorism toward a group advocating a different view." Conley also concluded that Roychowdhury has a "deep hate and anger that in his mind justified firebombing a building."

Roychowdhury was captured by authorities at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, as he attempted to flee the country in March 2023, more than 10 months after the firebombing took place.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of attempting to cause damage by means of fire or an explosive in December 2023. 

A statement published Wednesday by CompassCare, a network of pro-life pregnancy centers in upstate New York that had one of its own facilities firebombed in June 2022, contends that the sentence received by Roychowdhury is inadequate.

The advocacy group lamented that "the sentence ignores conspiracy and domestic terrorism, giving [him a] lighter sentence for a lighter charge."

"The sentencing would lead the public to believe this a simple case of misguided arson instead of a political act representing a multi-national Marxist revolution," stated Rev. Jim Harden, CompassCare CEO. Additionally, Harden expressed concern about "the dearth of arrests and investigations of violent pro-abortion terror compared to the crushing DOJ/FBI persecution of peaceful pro-lifers during the exact same time-frame."

CompassCare noted that pro-life activists face up to 11 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for blocking the entrance to an abortion clinic in Nashville, Tennessee.

Roychowdhury will not face any fines for firebombing Wisconsin Family Action and will "likely be out in five years," the pro-life group argues, because "the guideline for Roychowdhury to be eligible for parole is 60 months with time served."  

By comparison, the perpetrator behind the firebombing of a Planned Parenthood in Peoria, Illinois, last year faces a stiffer sentence of 10 years behind bars and a $1.45 million fine. 

CompassCare called the sentencing difference between the two cases a "stark disparity" in the treatment of pro-life activists convicted of crimes compared to their pro-abortion counterparts. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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