DOJ Prosecuted More Pro-Lifers Because Alleged Crimes Occurred ‘During the Daylight’: Merrick Garland

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) questioned Attorney General Merrick Garland on the disparity between pregnancy centers and abortion clinic attacks.

  • Attorney General Merrick Garland appeared Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, claiming that more pro-life demonstrators have been charged due to taking action “during the daylight.”
  • Garland made the statement in response to Utah Senator Mike Lee (R) questioning the “disparity” of charges between pro-life and abortion activists.
  • “In 2022, and for the first couple of months of 2023, the DOJ announced charges against 34 individuals for blocking access to or vandalizing abortion clinics,” said Lee. “And there have been over 81 reported attacks on pregnancy centers — 130 attacks on Catholic churches since the leak of the Dobbs decision, and only two individuals have been charged.”
  • “So how do you explain this disparity by reference to anything other than politicization of what’s happening there?” Lee asked.
  • Garland claimed that there are “many more prosecutions with respect to blocking of the abortion centers,” but that is due to “photography at the time,” the actions being taken “during the daylight,” and witnesses “seeing the person who did it.”
  • In comparison, those who attack pregnancy centers are “clever and are doing it in secret.”
  • During the hearing, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked Garland, “Why do you send two dozen agents in body armor to arrest a sidewalk counselor who happens to be pro-life, but you don’t devote resources to prosecute people who are violently firebombing crisis pregnancy centers,” referring to the arrest of Pennsylvania father Mark Houck.
  • Garland merely stated, “The way you are describing it, my understanding is the FBI disagrees with that description.”
  • Catholic Vote’s “Violence Tracker” recorded 81 pregnancy centers and pro-life groups being targeted for attacks since the draft decision overturning Roe V. Wade was leaked.
  • Two of the groups targeting pro-life centers are Jane’s Revenge and Ruth Sent Us, both of which GOP leaders are pushing to have categorized as domestic terrorist groups.
  • Jane’s Revenge is linked to Wisconsin and Michigan pro-life center attacks and is associated with the vandalism of a Michigan Representative’s office.
  • A statement reading, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either” was spray painted across the Wisconsin Family Action building. Jane’s Revenge claimed responsibility for the incident.
  • American Faith reported that pro-life activist Mark Houck is planning to take legal action against the FBI.
  • Houck is to sue on the grounds of prosecutorial abuse following his acquittal of charges related to the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act).
  • The FACE Act prohibits violent, threatening, and obstructive behavior aimed at interfering with reproductive health services.
  • Houck was one of several pro-life activists arrested for violations of the FACE Act.