On Tuesday Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined 18 other state attorneys general in a letter calling for U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to stop the escalating pro-abortion violence against pro-life organizations and churches.
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton and all four of Arkansas’ congressmen recently issued similar calls for action as well. Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin warning of possible violence in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case.
The letter authored by the Attorney General of Ohio reads,
Dear Attorney General Garland:
I am writing about the recent spate of terroristic threats and acts directed at pro-life organizations around the country.
Many millions of Americans oppose abortion. Some join organizations that advocate for legal change aimed at ending abortion. Others form crisis-pregnancy centers—pro-life groups that provide resources and community to women who become unexpectedly pregnant. Either way, these Americans hope to persuade their fellow citizens to oppose a practice that terminates a life, and to support women and expectant mothers. That is their First Amendment right.
“Since the leak of the draft opinion” overruling Roe v. Wade, “charities that support pregnant mothers in need have been firebombed, and pro-life organizations have been attacked almost daily and terrorized.” One report, from June 13, documented attacks involving arson, vandalism, or both against at least 13 pro-life centers across the country. Another report documents more than 20 attacks on “pregnancy resource centers and offices of pro-life groups.” And violent organizations are now publicly inciting terroristic acts. One such group—Jane’s Revenge—has claimed credit for attacks in Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. The same group has declared “open season” on “any anti-choice group” that continues to operate. And it has called on its members “to paint, to burn, to cut, [and] to jam” pro-life centers and advocates. “Through attacking,” it says, its members “find joy, courage, and strip the veneer of impenetrability held by these violent institutions.”
The Department of Justice must investigate and prosecute these terroristic threats and acts. It should start with Jane’s Revenge—the FBI has more than enough resources to determine the organization’s members and to track down those carrying out these acts of violence, which qualify as terrorism under federal law. And while Jane’s Revenge offers an obvious starting point, the supply of entities deserving to be investigated hardly stops there.
Inaction is intolerable in our nation of laws, and it violates your oath of office. Yet, in recent weeks, you have continued to allow illegal actions seemingly because they advance (in the minds of some) the pro-abortion cause. In particular, you have done nothing to break up picketing outside the homes of Supreme Court justices rumored to have voted to overrule Roe v. Wade—this despite the fact that a federal law plainly prohibits such conduct. And over the past year, the federal government has repeatedly sought leniency for violent criminals motivated by what this Administration perceives as progress. All the while, it has taken bizarrely aggressive positions toward its ideological opponents—for example, parents who speak out at school-board meetings. Intentional or not, budding domestic terrorists have apparently received the message: the Department of Justice is going easy on those who use violence in furtherance of favored viewpoints.
This Administration well knows the potential for a “significant increase in violent threats” in the wake of a decision overruling Roe. The American people are trusting you to keep them safe. In this country, the federal government’s duty to protect against violence does not turn on the victim’s identity; access to justice cannot turn on partisan affiliation. In America, we solve our differences with debates and ballots, not with bricks and Molotov cocktails. I urge you to thoroughly investigate these acts and to ensure that all those who threatened or carried out violence are brought to justice.
I conclude by offering assistance. My office, and the offices of my peer state attorneys general, stand ready to aid in these investigations and prosecutions. Political violence—no matter the cause, and no matter the perpetrator—must be punished, and harshly.
Below are a few examples of the recent violence against pro-life organizations in America:
- May 7 – St. John XXIII Catholic Church in Ft. Collins, Colorado has its windows smashed and is vandalized with the message, “My Body My Choice,” plus an anarchist symbol
- May 8 – Wisconsin Family Action in Madison, Wisconsin is firebombed and vandalized with the threat, “if abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.”
- May 8 – The Loreto House Pregnancy & Parenting Resource Center in Denton, Texas is vandalized with the messages “Forced birth is murder” and “Not a clinic.”
- May 13 – The Alpha Pregnancy Center in Reisterstown, Maryland is vandalized with the messages “Jane’s Revenge” and “If abortions aren’t safe neither are you.”
- May 14 – BirthRight pregnancy center in Frederick, Maryland is vandalized with the messages “Defend Roe” and “F-k Fake Clinic.”
- May 21 – Four churches in Olympia, Washington are vandalized with messages, including “If abortions aren’t safe then neither are you,” “Abort the church,” and “God loves abortion.”
- May 27 – Next Step Pregnancy Services has its windows smashed and is vandalized with the threat “If abortion isn’t safe, you aren’t either.”
- May 30 – The Respect Life Office in Hollywood, Florida is vandalized with the messages “Jane’s Revenge,” “If abortions aren’t safe then niether [sic] are you,” and anarchist symbols.”
- May 30 – The Dove Medical Pregnancy Center in Eugene, Oregon is vandalized with the messages “From Jane,” “Not a clinic,” “Abortion is healthcare,” and communist and anarchist symbols
- June 2 – Agape Pregnancy Center in Des Moines, Iowa has its windows smashed and is vandalized with the messages “God loves abortions” and “fake clinic.”
- June 3 – The Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center in Washington, D.C. is vandalized with eggs, red paint, and a message stating “Jane’s Revenge”
- June 7 – Mountain Area Pregnancy Services in Asheville, North Carolina has its windows smashed and is vandalized with the messages “No forced birth” and “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you!”
- June 7 – CompassCare pregnancy center in Buffalo, New York is firebombed and vandalized with the message “Jane was here.”
- June 8 – Options360 pregnancy center in Vancouver, Washington is vandalized with red paint and the message “Jane’s Revenge.”
- June 11 – The Gresham Pregnancy Resource Center in Gresham, Oregon is firebombed.
Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.