By Patty Knap
A coalition of pro-life organizations called on the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) to address the “ongoing violent attacks against pro-life organizations.”
Led by former Vice President Mike Pence and his Advancing American Freedom initiative, the inquiry seeks to determine whether the Justice Department is intentionally ignoring the attacks on pro-life groups.
Pregnancy centers, pro-life organizations and churches across the U.S. have been targeted by abortion extremists with violence, vandalism, and harassment since the May 2 leak of the draft majority Supreme Court opinion in the Dobbs case.
The strongly worded Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request implies the Justice Department is deliberately disregarding attacks against pro-lifers.
“We have serious concerns that the work of DOJ is being inappropriately politicized, as investigations into these acts of violence against organizations disfavored by the current administration are being slow-walked or outright ignored,” the coalition said. “The execution of justice requires fair and equal treatment under the law here, regardless of the Biden administration’s sympathies.”
The demand for DOJ action and pertinent records occurred earlier this past fall, and pro-life Americans continue to wait for the federal government to address the pro-abortion attacks.
While the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act “prohibits threats of force, obstruction and property damage intended to interfere with reproductive health care services” and applies to both to abortion centers and pregnancy help centers, it has thus far only been used against pro-life advocates under the Biden Administration.
Other groups joining the FOIA request are Americans United for Life, Students for Life Action, and Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. Also taking part are CatholicVote, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, Concerned Women for America, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Faith Wins, Family Research Council, ForAmerica, Heritage Action for America, Heritage Oversight Project, Human Coalition, and Keystone Policy.
According to CatholicVote, at least 100 Catholic churches and 78 pregnancy centers and other pro-life organizations have been attacked since May, without a single DOJ charge in connection with these attacks. Yet the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division has alleged FACE Act violations against 26 pro-lifers who have been charged this year.
The letter states that pro-life groups including pregnancy centers, have been “threatened, their buildings vandalized, defaced, and even firebombed” as “extremist groups” encourage violence and “gleefully” claim responsibility for “these wicked actions.”
It also notes how Nicholas Roske took steps to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh due to the impending Dobbs ruling.
“This continued assault against pro-life Americans, pro-life institutions, and even the Supreme Court of the United States is a manifest injustice that requires a prompt, comprehensive, and public response,” the letter notes. “These coordinated acts of domestic terrorism and political intimidation are flagrant violations of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which prohibits any conspiracy to interfere with a federal official from discharging his duties …”
The participating organizations urged the Justice Department to condemn these “unlawful acts” and to immediately begin preventing, investigating, and prosecuting them.
“Our United States Constitution was established ‘in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility,’” the letter states. “When violence against pro-life organizations goes unpunished, the commitment to a more perfect union is subverted. When investigations are delayed, justice is denied. And when Americans have to live in fear for exercising their First Amendment rights in advocating for pro-life principles, domestic tranquility is destabilized.”
On the occasion of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division’s 65th Anniversary Dec. 6, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta criticized the overturn of Roe v. Wade as a “devastating blow to women throughout the country” that took away “the constitutional right to abortion.” Gupta signaled the DOJ’s intentions regarding unequal application of the law, saying Roe’s having been struck down increased “the urgency” of the DOJ’s work—including the “enforcement of the FACE Act, to ensure continued lawful access to reproductive services.”