DOJ Fails to Charge Activist Who Vandalized Pro-Life Center

DOJ Fails to Charge Activist Who Vandalized Pro-Life Center

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The Department of Justice will not say why it has not prosecuted a Buffalo woman for vandalizing a pro-life pregnancy center, one of over 200 attacks on pro-life centers and Catholic Churches since the leak of the draft Supreme Court opinion indicating Roe v. Wade would be overturned.

Forty-year-old Hannah Kamke pled guilty this month to disorderly conduct related to her March 15 vandalism of CompassCare Pregnancy Services in Amherst, New York, the Buffalo News reported, and she has agreed to pay $2,580 in restitution to the center as part of her plea arrangement.

The pro-abortion vandal admitted to spray painting “LIARS” in big bright red letters on CompassCare’s business sign around 11:30 p.m. at night. Authorities arrested her in late March as a result of a joint investigation by the Amherst Police Department and the FBI, according to a local outlet.

This is not the first time the center has been attacked. In June 2022, vandals smashed the windows at CompassCare and lit fires inside the building. No one has been charged for this crime, which CompassCare CEO James Harden believes is a violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, and the FBI have offered a $25,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the attackers’ arrest.

The FACE Act protects both abortion clinics and pro-life pregnancy centers, but the DOJ has widely used it to charge pro-life activists with FACE violations since the Supreme Court’s June 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade. Last week, Republican members of Congress introduced legislation to repeal FACE, accusing President Joe Biden’s administration of weaponizing the act.

“I believe the FACE Act is unconstitutional on its face,” CompassCare CEO Jim Harden told The Daily Signal. “And if stands, the FACE Act will become America’s version of Stalin’s Article 58. But as long as it is the law of the land, it should be equally enforced.”

CompassCare’s attorneys also believe Kamke’s behavior constitutes a violation of the FACE Act, Harden explained.

“The FACE Act provides for both criminal and civil penalties for anyone who intimidates or interferes with or attempts to intimidate or interfere with any person providing or receiving reproductive health services,” he said, “which would include services delivered from a pro-life perspective.”

DOJ declined to explain to The Daily Signal why it did not pursue FACE Act charges. The Amherst Police Department directed The Daily Signal to the FBI (and declined to release Kamke’s mugshot).

In a statement to The Daily Signal, the FBI said it is continuing to investigate “a series of attacks and threats targeting pregnancy resource centers, faith-based organizations, and reproductive health clinics across the country, as well as to judicial buildings, including the US Supreme Court.”

“In general, FBI field offices conduct all logical investigative steps during the course of the investigation which can include offering a reward for information,” the statement said. “In this case, FBI Buffalo is seeking the public’s help to identify the individuals responsible for the arson of the CompassCare Pregnancy Services Center and is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for the arson.”

According to CatholicVote trackers, at least 88 pro-life groups and 196 churches have been attacked since the May leak. Vandals 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 that federal authorities have been slow to investigate.

And the disparity in the DOJ’s prosecution of pro-life activists and pro-abortion activists has already prompted many conservatives to sound the alarm.

“The Justice Department under Biden operates more like the mafia than an impartial law enforcement agency,” Roger Severino, vice president of domestic policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation)

“DOJ covers for the law-breaking of abortion radicals and their friends at Planned Parenthood Inc. while unleashing armed agents to arrest and intimidate pro-life families because they are bad for the abortion business,” he added.

In mid September, a D.C. jury convicted three pro-life activists on DOJ charges of trying to stop abortions from taking place at a Washington, D.C. abortion clinic. And in late August, five other pro-life activists were also found guilty of conspiracy against rights and violating the FACE Act.

The Justice Department has openly said that it is targeting pro-life activists through the FACE Act as a response to the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in December that the overturn of Roe increased “the urgency” of the DOJ’s work—including the “enforcement of the FACE Act, to ensure continued lawful access to reproductive services.”

In 2022, the DOJ charged at least 26 pro-life individuals and no far-left attackers with FACE Act violations. The DOJ has charged only four people with FACE Act violations in all of 2023 for attacking Florida pro-life pregnancy centers.

Harden pointed to the similarities between the vandalism of the Florida pregnancy centers and CompassCare, noting that the DOJ’s handling of these incidents marks “one of the only times in the history of the FACE Act where pro-abortion people are indicted for FACE violations when they vandalized three pregnancy centers with graffiti.”

“It is odd that the Florida indictment occurred only when everyone was looking, just as the DOJ and FBI are attempting to protect their reputation from allegations of dereliction of duty and engaging a double standard by both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees,” he added.

“Yet, the lack of indictments of pro-abortion criminals attacking pro-life groups makes sense when one considers the DOJ’s website and AG Garland’s own report to the Judiciary Committee when questioned regarding the lopsided enforcement of the FACE Act,” the CompassCare CEO said. “The facts betray the true purpose of the 1994 Act and DOJ’s focus on indictments of pro-lifers for what they call ‘anti-abortion activities.’”

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.