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Pro-Life Coalition Calls Out State AG for Fueling 'Hostility' and Ignoring Violence Against Clinics

09-14-2022
Bethlehem House via Twitter
Bethlehem House via Twitter

Pro-life pregnancy centers have been targeted, vandalized, and firebombed in the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, and now a coalition of pro-life centers in Massachusetts is calling on their state attorney general to walk back on labeling them as a threat to pregnant people and protect their facilities. 

First Liberty Institute and the Massachusetts Family Institute sent a letter Tuesday on behalf of a coalition of pregnancy centers to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. 

"What General Healey has done has licensed threats against these reproductive health facilities," Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel for First Liberty Institute told CBN News. "We are simply asking her to enforce the law for all citizens in the state of Massachusetts, not just the ones she politically favors."  

Just weeks after the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, Healey issued a statement labeling crisis pregnancy centers as "organizations that seek to prevent people from accessing abortion care."

"While crisis pregnancy centers claim to offer reproductive healthcare services, their goal is to prevent people from accessing abortion and contraception," Healey said in a consumer advisory warning. "In Massachusetts, you have the right to a safe and legal abortion. We want to ensure that patients can protect themselves from deceptive and coercive tactics when seeking the care they need."

The Democratic leader's warning also labeled centers as "fake clinics" that use "deceptive advertising to deceive pregnant people".

It also included a quote from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who has accused pro-life crisis pregnancy centers of "torturing" pregnant women seeking abortion information and called on the federal government to "shut them down all around the country."  

"In Massachusetts right now, those crisis pregnancy centers that are there to fool people who are looking for pregnancy termination help outnumber true abortion clinics by three to one," Warren said

In late July, The Civil Rights Division of Healey's office threatened to take civil action against Abundant Hope Pregnancy Center for what she believes to be "deceptive trade practices".

"She is bringing the entire weight of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts down upon that pregnancy resource center," Dys told CBN News.

Dys said Healey is unwilling to protect reproductive health facilities that encourage women to keep their babies but has defended reproductive health facilities when it came to abortion.  

"The level of hostility towards these organizations is uncalled for and unwarranted," he added.

Days before, Clearway Clinic workers found their building's windows and doors smashed and the message "Jane's Revenge" spray-painted in black capital letters on the walkway by the entrance, National Catholic Register reports.

Problem Pregnancy, a crisis pregnancy center located less than two miles away from Clearway Clinic, was vandalized with blue and gold paint that same night. 

"We call on our state officials to publicly condemn the domestic terrorist attack against our organization. Violence against our center harms the women, babies, and families that rely on us for help in times of need," Kelly Wilcox, the executive director of Clearway Clinic, said. 

In August, vandals splattered red paint across the white exterior of Bethlehem House Inc. Pregnancy Care Center. 

The threatening message "if abortions aren't safe, neither are you" was painted on the ground, and someone also wrote "Jane's Revenge" on two white benches outside of the facility. 

Jane's Revenge is the name of a pro-abortionist group that advocates vandalism, firebombing, and acts of arson against crisis pregnancy centers and churches. 

Dys told CBN News, "It is interesting that [Healey] has gone out of her way to threaten the full legal weight of her office to reign down on these pro-life reproductive health facilities, but she sent no letter to Jane's Revenge, that we are aware of, and I don't even know if she is involved with any active investigation for the multiple crimes that have been committed." 

"These are crimes in the state of Massachusetts and it seems she is simply turning a blind eye to the citizens simply because she favors one political ideology over another," Dys said.

A spokeswoman from the Massachusetts facility told the Catholic News Service at the time that employees fear that activists could come back to intimidate staff or women receiving help.

"I'm nervous because the clients are coming here today. We have to give diapers out in the parking lot," Pam Hibbard, Bethlehem House director, said.

"I don't know what kind of person would try to target somebody that's helping newborn mothers with needs," one woman told the Daily Signal. "I'm a mother myself, and I just can't believe anybody would do that to them."

Now, First Liberty and Massachusetts Family Institute are calling Healey to walk back on her statements and recognize that these faith-based groups provide essential and professional services.

"These are the groups you targeted with your letter: men and women, motivated by their faith to provide medical and professional counseling services and give away diapers, baby wipes, and hand-knitted baby booties to those in need. Rather than protect these faith-based organizations providing professional reproductive health services, as is the duty of your office, your letter has placed them in further jeopardy," their letter reads.

"We, therefore, request that you provide what steps you have taken, or will take, to protect the PRCs against the crimes that have been committed against them," it continued.

"No one should suffer violence for simply providing counseling and desperately needed baby supplies to women and their babies. The Attorney General's singling out of pregnancy resource centers exhibits hostility toward faith-based pregnancy centers that should be repugnant to everyone," said Massachusetts Family Institute President Andrew Beckwith. 

The coalition represented by First Liberty and the Massachusetts Family Institute includes Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices, Abundant Hope Pregnancy Resource Center, Clearway Clinic, Bethlehem House, and Your Options Medical.
 

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