A 73-year-old man is facing federal charges after he rammed a car into a planned abortion clinic in an eastern Illinois city and also was trying to set the building on fire, authorities announced Tuesday.
Police arrived at the clinic site in Danville about 4:30 a.m. Saturday to find Philip J. Buyno of Prophetstown, Illinois, stuck inside a car that had backed into the building’s entrance and he had several containers filled with gasoline, according to federal prosecutors.
The planned clinic has generated controversy. The Danville City Council voted this month to ban the mailing or shipping of abortion pills even as state Democratic officials have warned that the move violates Illinois law protecting abortion as a fundamental right.
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Buyno also faces county criminal charges for the clinic damage. Federal prosecutors charged him with attempted arson of a building used in interstate commerce.
Information on any defense attorneys representing Buyno who could comment on his behalf wasn’t immediately available from court records. Buyno’s home address provided by prosecutors is about a 200-mile drive to Danville, which is near the Illinois-Indiana state line.
Danville officials have said the building is being renovated as an abortion clinic after Indiana’s Republican-dominated Legislature voted last summer to ban abortion. A legal challenge pending before the Indiana Supreme Court has kept the state’s ban on hold since September.