During Attorney General Merrick Garland’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, pro-life senators asked him why there have been numerous prosecutions of pro-lifers for violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act while pro-abortion attacks against pro-life organizations and churches have largely gone unpunished.
“[In] 2022, for the first couple of months of 2023, the DOJ has announced charges against 34 individuals for blocking access to or vandalizing abortion clinics and there have been over 81 reported attacks on pregnancy centers, 130 attacks on Catholic churches since the leak of the Dobbs decision,” said Mike Lee (R-Utah). “And only two individuals have been charged. So how do you explain this disparity by reference to anything other than the politicization of what’s happening there?”
Garland responded that the FACE Act does apply equally to both those that attempt to block access to pregnancy resource centers or abortion facilities and said that the DOJ applies the law equally. He also agreed with Lee’s assessment of the situation — that more pro-lifers have faced charges than abortion activists have, despite most of the attacks being carried out by abortion activists.
However, he said that the reason that pro-lifers are being charged more often than abortion activists is because pro-abortion activists target pro-lifers when it’s dark outside (see video below beginning around 1:43):
.@SenMikeLee to Attorney General Merrick Garland- why was a pro-life activist like Mark Houk targeted by a SWAT team & the DOJ, while pro-abortion vandals have attacked dozens of pro-life resource centers & the DOJ has done almost nothing.
Garland has no answer pic.twitter.com/HK08gYrC9c
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) March 1, 2023
“I will say that you’re quite right,” said Garland. “There are many more prosecutions with respect to the blocking of the abortion centers, but that is generally because they are those actions are taken with photography at the time during the daylight and seeing the person who did it is quite easy. Those who are attacking the pregnancy resources centers, which is a hard thing to do, are doing this at night in the dark.”
He added, “We have put full resources on this. We have put rewards out for this. The Justice Department, the FBI have made outreach to Catholic and other organizations to ask for their help in identifying the people who are doing this. We will prosecute every case against the pregnancy resource centers that we can make.”
“But,” he stated, “these people who are doing this are clever and are doing it in secret. And I’m convinced that the FBI is trying to find them with urgency.”
In response to a question from Sen. Ted Cruz, Garland reiterated, “It is a priority of the department to prosecute and investigate and find the people who are doing those firebombings. They are doing it at night and in secret. And we have found, we have found one group which we did prosecute.”
According to Garland, the FBI can’t figure out who is responsible for the attacks against pregnancy centers and churches because they have been done “at night in the dark” and “in secret.” Yet, officials were able to quickly find and arrest an arsonist who attacked a Planned Parenthood facility in January, though he carried out the horrific crime at night.
Still, Garland called violent abortion activists “clever” — implying that these domestic terrorists are outsmarting the FBI simply by doing crime under cover of darkness.
Garland is correct in one sense — the incidents that have led pro-life activists to be charged with violating the FACE Act have occurred during daylight hours, while most attacks from pro-abortion activists have occurred at night. But to imply that federal officials have difficulty solving crimes that occur at night is a strange excuse for why the DOJ has failed to arrest violent abortion activists.
And Garland is also missing the obvious: pro-lifers are active during the day because their efforts are not and should not be considered criminal. Most pro-lifers are being arrested for offering women resources on life-affirming options for their babies or for protecting a child — as was the case for Mark Houck, whose home was raided by 15-20 FBI officials early in the morning because he pushed an abortion escort who was harassing his son.
On the contrary, abortion activists are firebombing pro-life clinics, spray-painting churches and pro-life centers, and threatening physical harm to pro-lifers — all under the cloak of night — because they have something to hide. Scripture states in John 3:20-21, “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
According to the Daily Signal, Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) charged 26 pro-life activists with FACE Act violations in 2022, but failed to charge a single pro-abortion activist with FACE Act violations last year despite numerous attacks against pro-life organizations.
In February, the DOJ charged eight more pro-life activists with FACE Act violations. Finally, in January 2023, the DOJ did indict two pro-abortion activists for attacking pro-life facilities. Still, according to FBI Director Christopher Wray, about 70% of abortion-related violence and threats since the overturning of Roe v. Wade has been perpetrated by pro-abortionists against pro-life organizations — with few (or no) repercussions.
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