Violent pro-abortion radicals facing civil suit for attacks on pro-life centers

March 30, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

When a U.S. Supreme Court opinion leaked overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing states to regulate the lethal abortion industry again, a group called "Jane's Revenge" apparently adopted a course of civil disobedience that included vandalism and threats.

It all happened again when the opinion actually was released, and the decision was made final.

Those attacks on churches, pro-life centers, and other locations were part of a long list of hundreds of incidents, ranging from spray-painted slogans to arson.

Nonetheless, few cases have produced charges by the state or federal governments who were supposed to be enforcing their laws.

So now lawyers with First Liberty Institute and an affiliate legal team have sued Jane's Revenge "and their associated vandals" because they tried to "injure, intimidate, and interfere with access to several Florida pregnancy resource centers."

The action joins a legal action brought earlier by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody seeking to assess $170,000 in penalties against each defendant who allegedly vandalized three Florida pregnancy resource centers following the release of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Moody explained, "Antifa and Jane’s Revenge are criminal organizations and must answer for their crimes in Florida. I am taking action to hold their members accountable for attempting to intimidate and threaten law-abiding citizens in our state."

Kelly Shackelford, president of First Liberty, pointed out, "Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is leading the effort to protect all faith-based pregnancy care centers across the country. The rule of law compels this lawsuit. If you use violence as a means to advance your disagreement, you will be held accountable by the law."

First Liberty reported, "Following last year’s leak of the Dobbs decision, vandals associated with Jane’s Revenge began attacking faith-based pregnancy resource centers across the nation. Vandals spray-painted threatening messages like 'If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you,' fire-bombed life-affirming reproductive health facilities, broke windows, doxxed the staff, board, and volunteers of pregnancy resource centers, and disrupted private events with supporters in an effort to intimidate those centers, injure their facilities, and interfere with clients seeking to access their free services. "

One of those organizations targeted was Heartbeat of Miami, a religious ministry providing life-affirming reproductive health services to women and couples facing unplanned pregnancies in Hialeah, Florida.

The legal claim charges that Caleb Freestone and Amber Marie Smith-Stewart, as representatives of Jane’s Revenge, vandalized Heartbeat’s clinic with spray-painted threats on July 3, 2022.

In this case, there actually were charges. A federal grand jury in January issued a criminal indictment against Freestone and Smith-Stewart, who also are accused of hacking their way onto Heartbeat's guest list so they could appear at its annual gala, "where they shouted obscenities, disparaged Heartbeat’s staff, volunteers, and supporters, and leafleted the venue with propaganda hoping to dissuade women from using Heartbeat’s services."

"Those who target life-affirming reproductive health facilities must face the legal penalties Congress established for their crimes," said First Liberty senior counsel Jeremy Dys. "No one should suffer violence for simply providing faith-based counseling and baby supplies to women and their babies. Violence is never a lawful response to disagreement."

First Liberty explained the goals of the legal cases: "Under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances ('FACE') Act, Attorney General Moody seeks to recover civil penalties against the named defendants to protect the public interest in a woman’s freedom to seek pregnancy-related services. Similarly, attorneys with First Liberty, on behalf of their client, seek to recover penalties imposed by the FACE Act, and other legal theories, for the defendants’ attempts to injure, intimidate, or interfere with life-affirming reproductive health facilities."

WND columnist Jerry Newcombe called those doing vandalism "shock troops of tolerance."

"They claim to be 'pro-choice,' but choice involves options. And these people want to make sure women make only one choice – the choice of abortion. When there's only one choice, then 'pro-choice' is an oxymoron," he wrote.

He noted the "numerous disruptions of church services," illegal protests outside Supreme Court justices' homes, and "at least 59 attacks on crisis pregnancy centers.

The organization earlier formally threatened pro-life groups, stating, "From here forward, any anti-choice group who closes their doors, and stops operating will no longer be a target. But until you do, it's open season, and we know where your operations are. The infrastructure of the enslavers will not survive. We will never stop, back down, slow down, or retreat."

Newcombe added, "Where is U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in all this? When is he going to act against this intimidation? Our nation's Founders said that the Creator has endowed us with 'unalienable rights' – first among these is 'the right to life.'"

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