Over 200 House Democrats voted Wednesday against condemning the slew of attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers that have occurred since the leak of the draft opinion indicating that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade.
H. Con. Res. 3 (expressing the sense of Congress condemning the recent attacks on pro-life facilities, groups, and churches) passed 222 to 208, with three Democrats supporting it.
At least 78 pro-life groups and 108 churches have been attacked since May, according to Catholic Vote trackers. Vandals have often tagged these buildings with threats such as, “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you,” making the attacks incidents of suspected pro-abortion violence.
Yet as of Wednesday, authorities had not arrested anyone in connection with these incidents. Democrats like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have been loath to condemn or even acknowledge the attacks.
This week, Democratic leadership urged lawmakers to vote “no” on H. Con Res. 3, defending their stance by noting that the resolution does not discuss attacks on pro-abortion groups.
“Assaults on abortion clinics increased 128% last year over 2020,” an email from Democratic Whip Katherine Clark states, apparently citing numbers from the National Abortion Federation.
Planned Parenthood’s action arm similarly claimed that the resolution ignores “threats of violence against abortion providers and patients.”
The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division has refused to share with The Daily Signal whether it is prosecuting any of these cases under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which “prohibits threats of force, obstruction and property damage intended to interfere with reproductive health care services.”
Meanwhile, that Civil Rights Division charged 26 pro-life individuals in 2022 with violations of the FACE Act—though the legislation protects both pro-life pregnancy centers and abortion clinics, as a DOJ official noted to Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, in December.
Also in December, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta revealed that DOJ has been targeting pro-life activists through the FACE Act as a response to the overturn of Roe as she delivered remarks at the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division’s 65th Anniversary.
The associate attorney general described the overturn of Roe v. Wade as a “devastating blow to women throughout the country” that took away “the constitutional right to abortion” and increased “the urgency” of the DOJ’s work—including the “enforcement of the FACE Act, to ensure continued lawful access to reproductive services.”
The House Republican resolution lists dozens of attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers and churches, and states that Congress condemns these attacks and urges the DOJ to prosecute them.
Catholic Vote President Brian Burch described the resolution as a “test” of the “authenticity of the Democrat’s purported desire to fight domestic terrorism”—”a likely disingenuous desire,” Burch said, “considering that Democrats have spent months downplaying and even encouraging violence against pro-life organizations that exist to provide millions of dollars’ worth of resources and support to women and children in need.”
“It’s remarkable that something as straightforward as protecting women and children from violent attacks, as well as innocent children from the excruciating trauma of abortion, is controversial in the least,” he added. “Violence shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and no American should be above the law—even if they conveniently target the political enemies of those accountable for enforcing it.”
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