Pro-abortion forces have moved from physically attacking pro-life pregnancy care centers to weaponizing legislation against them, according to the Rev. Jim Harden.
In recent months, “we started to see an ebb in the violent attacks against pro-life entities and a rise in potential weaponization of legislation specifically targeting pro-life activity in the public square, and specifically even more so pregnancy center activity,” says Harden, CEO of the pro-life New York-based organization CompassCare.
In Illinois for example, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill “specifically giving the attorney general in Illinois the … unfettered ability to define what ‘deceptive practices’ means and what ‘misinformation’ means when it comes to the activities and speech of pro-life pregnancy centers,” Harden says. Violating the law “comes with $50,000 fines for each occurrence [of spreading misinformation] as they define it,” Harden said.
Under Violent Attack
CompassCare, with three New York state offices in Albany, Buffalo and Rochester, is no stranger to attacks on the work of pro-life pregnancy centers. In June 2022, the radical pro-abortion group Jane’s Revenge took responsibility for firebombing the pro-life center’s Buffalo office and spray-painting the words “Jane was here” on the side of the building. Then in March, the same CompassCare location was attacked again when someone spray-painted “Liars” in red paint.
No arrests have been made regarding the firebombing of the center. The woman who spray-painted the sign earlier this year “was arrested and charged and pled guilty to a felony misdemeanor, and that’s in court right now,” Harden said.
The Erie County District Attorney, serving Buffalo, is prosecuting the crime, according to Harden, but the FBI and Department of Justice “refuse to prosecute” using the the FACE Act, or the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
The FACE Act prohibits the intentional destruction of, or damage to, reproductive health care facilities, which includes both abortion facilities and pregnancy resource centers. But the act, Harden says, “has been used almost solely since its inception in the Clinton administration in the 1990s to indict peaceful pro-life people out in front of abortion clinics to cool and quell pro-life speech.”
Harden joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to explain the ways in which pro-abortion activists are using legislation to target pro-life centers, and to offer advice to these pro-life organizations as to what they can do to protect themselves so they can continue serving the women and babies who need them.
Listen to the podcast below:
Virginia Allen is a senior news producer and podcast host for The Daily Signal. She is the co-host of “The Daily Signal Podcast” and “Problematic Women.” Send an email to Virginia.
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