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Attacks on pro-life centers can be charged under FACE act, says DOJ


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J-P Mauro - published on 11/06/22

After months of increased attacks on pro-life organizations and clinics, the Department of Justice has finally vowed action.

After months of increased pro-abortion attacks on Catholic churches and pregnancy centers, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has finally vowed action. In a recent letter to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the DOJ stated that attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers can be prosecuted under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) act. 

Catholic Vote, which has tracked attacks against 86 Catholic churches and 74 pregnancy resource centers just since the Supreme Court leak last May, reports that the DOJ reached out to USCCB Secretariat of Pro-life Activities Executive Director Thomas Grenchik. 

“The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has a task force dedicated to enforcing the FACE Act,” Grenchik said. “Recently, the director of the task force reached out to the USCCB regarding the ongoing attacks on pregnancy resource centers.”

The DOJ did not comment on why they have taken no action against such attacks in recent months. The letter asked the USCCB to assist them in informing pregnancy resource centers that the FACE act can be used to protect them. Furthermore, the department implored pregnancy resource centers to continue to report attacks to authorities. 

Pregnancy Help News reports that the DOJ did not specify how many of the previous attacks they were planning to prosecute. The news source did note, however, that the DOJ has already prosecuted 26 pro-life individuals on FACE act violations since the beginning of 2022. Indeed, the DOJ website lists more than 20 instances of charges leveled for FACE act infractions, all of which were in favor of facilities that provide abortion services. 

Grenchik stated that concerns over the lack of action until now are reasonable, but he seemed encouraged by the DOJ’s newfound interest in prosecuting violent acts against pro-life organizations. He said the DOJ’s vow of support should be taken “at face value,” and noted that this is an avenue that could hold those who attack pro-life facilities accountable: 

“When asked if one of the more typical forms of these attacks—graffiti bearing the phrase ‘If abortions aren’t safe, then neither are you’—could be prosecuted under the FACE Act, he said that such an attack could constitute a FACE Act offense, and that he is hopeful that DOJ could bring charges in many of those cases,” Grenchik added.

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