On July 14, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced the Pregnancy Resource Center Defense Act to protect these centers and houses of worship from radical pro-abortion activists’ campaign of violence, destruction, and intimidation.
“The Biden Administration has turned a blind eye while radical leftists attack pregnancy care centers and houses of worship,” said Senator Hawley. “And now left-wing politicians are trying to shut them down. It’s time to put an end to the attacks and get tough on thugs who engage in violence, arson, and other means of destruction.”
Following the leak of the draft opinion from the Supreme Court on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, there have been at least 50 separate incidents of violent attacks, including arson, against pregnancy resource centers and other pro-life organizations across the country. Churches and other religious facilities have also faced an increase in violence, including more than 150 recent attacks on Catholic churches and sites. Militant leftist groups like Jane’s Revenge have promised these attacks and vandalism will continue. And left-wing politicians are making it their mission to shut down pregnancy care centers.
Attacks against pregnancy resource centers and churches are illegal under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, but the penalty for a first-time offense is only a misdemeanor.
The Pregnancy Resource Center Defense Act would bolster penalties for attacking pregnancy resource centers as well as houses of worship by:
- Increasing criminal penalties from a misdemeanor to a felony for first-time offenses, and increasing the criminal fine from $10,000 to $25,000
- Guaranteeing that pregnancy resource centers and religious facilities that successfully sue will receive no less than $20,000 (a $10,000 increase)
- Imposing a 7-year mandatory minimum when attacks involve arson (up from a 5-year mandatory minimum)
View full legislative text here.