CompassCare Pregnancy Center in New York was the victim of a firebombing by pro-abortion extremists in early June, but instead of ramping up investigations to locate the perpetrators, state leaders are planning to investigate the pro-life center itself, with the potential to demand information on donors, clients, and affiliates.
CompassCare’s Buffalo facility was firebombed sometime between the evening of June 6 and early morning of June 7, 2022. It was tagged with the message “Jane was here” (watch news video). Over 600 pro-life pregnancy centers nationwide are using materials produced by CompassCare. As a result, the organization feels they could be further targeted.
Invasive information sought from pro-life centers
The move follows legislation passed earlier this year (SB470) and (HB5499) recently signed into law which authorizes the state’s commissioner of health “to conduct a study and issue a report examining the unmet health and resource needs facing pregnant women in New York.” In other words, the pro-life centers are being targeted and investigated simply for not committing or referring for abortions.
The legislation allows the commissioner to seek invasive information which shall include but not be limited to:
(a) what state and/or federal funds or tax or other subsidies, if any, are directly or indirectly allocated to limited service pregnancy centers in the state and the names and locations of such organizations receiving government funding;
(b) whether the limited service pregnancy centers in the state are part of larger umbrella organizations that operate limited service pregnancy centers across the country, and if so, whether those umbrella organizations receive state and/or federal funding;
(c) the services provided by limited service pregnancy centers and what services are most frequently sought at limited service pregnancy centers;
(d) the number of women who access services at limited service pregnancy centers, the geographic regions in which each woman accessing the services of these centers resides, the distance to the nearest licensed medical facility providing these services, the prices charged for such services, and the basic demographic information about each woman, including race, age, and marital status.
(e) whether pregnancy centers hold themselves out to the public, either in person, through community participation or events or through their advertising or websites, as medical facilities or entities in which comprehensive, all-options pregnancy counseling is provided;
(f) whether women seeking or accessing services at limited service pregnancy centers are seeking comprehensive options counseling or services at medical facilities and whether women have experienced a delay in receiving health care, including abortion or the initiation of prenatal care, due to a visit to a limited service pregnancy center;
(g) whether limited service pregnancy centers enroll women in any public benefits programs or connect women to other services, and if so, which services limited service pregnancy centers connect women to;
(h) the nature of information given to clients or potential clients at pregnancy centers and the nature of limited service pregnancy centers’ operational manuals, handbooks or guidelines in connection to the provision of services to clients;
(i) the number of state-certified medical professionals on staff or volunteering at limited service pregnancy centers and the number who are providing medical services or counseling on site during regular business hours at limited service pregnancy centers and whether pregnancy centers inform women whether or not they have any medical professionals on the premises, on staff, or in a volunteer capacity; and
(j) whether limited service pregnancy centers collect medical information and what other information is collected upon intake, how limited service pregnancy centers handle medical and other client records, and whether the medical records are in compliance with federal and state requirements governing medical privacy.
An e-mailed statement sent June 20 to Live Action News quotes Isaac Harden, Communications Director for CompassCare Pregnancy Services, stating that the pro-life pregnancy center has “no intention of complying with the unjust investigation as it demands access to all donor information, confidential patient records, all internal processes and protocols, policies, and anything else they think they need in order to regulate pro-life pregnancy centers to death.”
“They want to know anything and everything. They want an open book,” CompassCare CEO Jim Harden told the Catholic News Agency (CNA). “It’s absolutely ironic and crazy.”
Millions in taxpayer dollars for abortion security
Lawmakers in the state previously earmarked $35 million in taxpayer funds to expand abortion and increase security at abortion facilities, yet pro-life centers that are being threatened are not expected to receive any state funds, Harden claimed.
“We haven’t gotten a single dime for security,” CEO Jim Harden stated in a press conference after the center was attacked. “Not a single dime.”
“After CompassCare’s firebombing in Buffalo, as far as we can tell, zero federal or state resources have been allocated to protect pro-life pregnancy centers. It appears Governor Hochul and the NY Legislature are only interested in protecting those who agree with them and bullying those who don’t,” CEO Jim Harden again stated on June 14.
“Instead of applauding this work, Hochul and the NY Legislature are robbing women by diverting precious resources away from them, all for a frivolous PR stunt. CompassCare has no intention of cooperating with this injustice,” he added.
Lawmakers continue to attack pro-life centers
Harden claims lawmakers are attacking pro-life centers rather than protecting them and he said this can lead to additional violence. He recently pointed to a speech by Governor Hochul, which referred to pro-lifers as “Neanderthals,” where she stated, “The women of New York will never be subjugated to government mandated pregnancies because that’s what will ensue if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court. This is the United States of America, where freedom and liberty are supposed to mean something. It’s the rock upon which we were founded. It is supposed to mean something. Except in the eyes of some Neanderthals who say women are not entitled to those rights. We’ve endured centuries of misogyny and discrimination and domination, but they are all supposed to be over by now. This is 2022. The right to control our own bodies was supposed to be a well-settled precedent by now, or so we thought.”
“When legislatures decide to attack peaceful pregnancy centers, they give credence to this kind of violence,” Harden stated in the previously mentioned press conference. “All we want to do is serve women.”
Editor’s Note, 6/22: This post was updated to differentiate between two Mr. Hardens speaking on behalf of CompassCare.
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