CompassCare CEO James Harden has been fighting for justice since Buffalo’s prenatal pregnancy center was bombed in June, but the incoming House Republican majority has given him reason for hope.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalis puts first on list of 15 legislative priorities for 118th Congress, condemning spate of attacks on churches and pro-life facilities, urging Biden administration to take issue seriously He identified three pro-life measures, including resolutions urging .
“I’m encouraged by it. Even just introducing the concept is action,” Harden told The Washington Times. “It’s a big message from the House of Representatives that the government’s job is to protect the people.”
As far as frustrated pro-life leaders are concerned, such action is long overdue.
At least 104 Catholic churches and 78 pro-life pregnancy centers and offices have been attacked since the Supreme Court’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked on May 2, according to Catholic Vote Tracker. The FBI has not announced any arrests.
Three more churches were targeted during the holiday, according to The Catholic News Agency. Among them is St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where church officials confirmed on Christmas Day that the vandal had “666” carved into his three separate front doors. discovered.
Catholic Vote President Brian Burch praised House Republicans for prioritizing the pro-life bill.
Two other bills Scalise cited on Friday would make permanent the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortions, and would require medical care for infants born alive after a botched abortion. .
“Three votes in January’s pro-life month is a good start,” Birch said. “But we need follow-up by this Congress. These votes, especially the resolutions on violence against churches and pregnancy centers, must be acted upon through oversight and accountability.”
He said last year that the Justice Department filed federal indictments against at least 28 pro-life activists for violating their freedom of access to clinic entrances, and that pro-life attacks led to arrests. Contrasting that there is no [FACE] activity.
“Why is there no visible evidence that the DOJ is moving to investigate violent attacks on Catholic churches and maternal care centers?” asked Mr. Birch.
I sent a letter to my colleagues outlining the bill that the Republican majority will bring to the House in the first two weeks.
We are ready to deliver on what we have promised on borders, crime, energy, inflation, life, taxpayer protection, etc. https://t.co/fL82h0jjQH pic.twitter.com/0FZi3Sp8Cz
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) December 30, 2022
“It’s clear that Joe Biden’s Justice Department has divided America into two categories and is willing to use government resources to harass and persecute those who oppose his leftist policies.
FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Homeland Security Committee in November that investigations into attacks and threats against churches and pro-life organizations were ongoing, and the agency takes such cases seriously. claimed.
“I don’t care which side of the issue you’re on. You can’t engage in violence. We’re equal opportunity when it comes to that,” Mr. Ray said at a hearing on Nov. 15. .
He also said about 70 percent of the agency’s abortion-related incidents involved violence or threats against pro-life groups.
Harden isn’t waiting for the FBI. Around 2:45 a.m. on June 7, CompassCare suffered $250,000 in damages after a vandal threw a Molotov cocktail into her office.
The center has since reopened.
The perpetrators also spray painted the building with “Jane was here”. Radical pro-choice group Jane’s Revenge took credit for the attack. The FBI offered her a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
CompassCare is also appealing to obtain CCTV footage that was turned over to law enforcement after the attack.
In November, the FBI released a short video clip and photos from the footage, but Harden wants the full video.
“We’re going to put law enforcement’s feet on the fire, and the House seems to want to get their feet on the fire,” Harden said. “This is law enforcement’s job and they aren’t doing it. We are doing it ourselves and it shouldn’t be. I have.”
A House resolution condemning the attack is unlikely to pass the Senate, but Harden said it would put Senate Democrats in a tough political position.
“This should strike fear into the hearts of the Senate, as such a concurrent resolution will surely pass the House, and the Senate must say ‘yes or no’ to condemning violent attacks against pro-life factions. No, Harden said.
He predicted that some Senate Democrats would vote against the resolution if it entered the floor.
“They will force the Senate to leave a record that essentially rejects the notion of protecting pro-life people,” Harden said. “That’s what we’ve been arguing all along, we’re being treated like second-class citizens, and the Biden administration is slowly treading justice.”
There was the first pro-protest against the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson ruling on June 24, sending the abortion issue to the states.
Only two incidents were reported in December. They include repeated disruptions at the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center annual dinner on Dec. 2 by pro-choice protesters in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia.
Despite the decline, Harden said his organization remains vigilant. His group spent about $150,000 to bolster security after June’s incendiary attacks.