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Abortion debate leads to divided Danville and attempted arson

Danville Welcome Sign.{ }{ }(Video screenshot by David Pierce, WICD)
Danville Welcome Sign. (Video screenshot by David Pierce, WICD)
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A 73 year old man is now in the hospital after being arrested and charged with attempted arson of a future reproductive health clinic in Danville.

Phillip Buyno was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon but had a medical event as Springfield FBI went to escort him to court, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene Miller. Buyno is currently being treated at a hospital in Urbana.

Police say Buyno backed his car into the future abortion clinic early Saturday morning, and according to an affidavit had gasoline and materials to burn hoping to start a fire in the future clinic. His case has been postponed until Thursday.

Earlier this month Danville passed an ordinance declaring themselves a sanctuary city for the unborn. With the recent passing of the anti-abortion ordinance and the future clinic in the city of Danville, tensions are high.

These acts should not be happening whether a person is for or against the ordinance or for or against abortion, there’s just no place for that,” said Danville Ward 4 Alderman Tricia Teague. “And so any act on either side, I strongly condemn it.

At the city council meeting on May 2nd, where the ordinance was passed, debate led to nearly 3 hours of public comment. The vote on the ordinance was so divided that even after the hours of debate from both sides it was a tie vote in the city council. Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. broke the tie with a yes vote and ultimately passed the ordinance. A clear indication on how torn people and the city are on the issue.

I feel like it's unfortunate that we, that the community is as divided as it is, there’s so much that we could be uniting over, said Teague.

Buyno told police that if he were released from jail tomorrow, he would “finish the job” according to an affidavit. The affidavit also stated that Buyno claimed “he was a member of a ‘rescue group’ whose purpose was to prevent abortion clinics from being established.”

City officials condemn Buyno’s alleged act of violence. In a statement to Fox Illinois Mayor Williams, said Buyno’s act was heinous and hypocritical.

Not speaking about this incident until now has been terribly difficult. However, when the FBI requests that no statements be made until official charges are filed to ensure that they stick, you comply. This act of domestic terrorism is not only an attack on this facility, but our entire community. We condemn all acts of violence and the hypocrisy that would allow someone to believe that they can save lives by destroying property and endangering others. Many thanks to our officers whose swift action helped protect our community. We expect that the justice system will prosecute this heinous crime to the fullest extent of the law.” – Mayor Rickey Williams Jr., City of Danville
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The future Danville abortion clinic is the second abortion clinic in Central Illinois to be vandalized. In January a Central Illinois man set fire to the Planned Parenthood in Peoria.

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