As questions swirl over the FBI’s arrest of at least 12 pro-life activists, one attorney is calling the incidents behind these detainments “shocking” and perilous.
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Chelsey Youman, legislative director at Human Coalition, said she’s hearing critics use the term “police state” while discussing what has unfolded. Some are concerned the FBI’s actions are some form of political retribution after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
“The fact that this is happening after Dobbs, the entire weight of the FBI bringing armed officials into people’s homes because of their pro-life views, because of their religious views — it’s blatant religious discrimination … and viewpoint discrimination,” Youman said. “Not to mention the fact that the FBI has yet to do a single thing about the over 80 pregnancy resource centers and churches that have been violently vandalized.”
The attorney is referring to the fact the FBI has purportedly yet to arrest anyone responsible for torching, spraypainting, and vandalizing pro-life offices across the U.S.
“They could make an arrest, and they’re choosing not to,” she said. “And I think it’s pretty obvious now that the FBI is being used by the Biden administration to go after their political dissidents — people who are pro-life, who disagree with the abortion agenda.”
Watch Youman discuss these matters:
Youman said the arrests of pro-lifers are shocking, considering these activists are among those who “gather outside of clinics to pray” and help women contemplating abortion connect with needed resources.
Youman said she believes the FBI and others are looking to ‘make an example” out of these pro-lifers in an effort to intimidate others in the movement.
“It’s my perspective that they want to … let us know they’re watching, they’re there, and they’re willing to use really whatever level of force necessary to shut down our activities to serve women and save lives,” Youman said. “Which is what we’re dedicated to … as a movement, and I also think that the federal government doesn’t have a lot that they can do post-Roe to push forward abortion measures.”
She believes “pro-abortion Democrats” are imploring the White House to do something and that these arrests are the one area in which politicians can, in turn, act.
The 12 individuals were detained and charged under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (also known as the FACE Act).
“The FACE Act is meant to protect abortion providers and facilities and, by the way, other institutions so health care facilities, churches are included from threats of violence,” Youman said. “From basically terroristic activity.”
She said she’s particularly surprised by the use of the act in the aforementioned cases, considering the pro-life activists could face up to 11 years in prison.
“We need to be in prayer for these individuals who are senior citizens now in federal prison because they’re pro-life, essentially,” Youman said.
As Faithwire reported, pro-life Catholic activist Mark Houck was the first to make headlines over his arrest. He pleaded not guilty after he was detained on FACE Act charges in a separate incident. He is accused of allegedly shoving a 72-year-old Planned Parenthood volunteer, Bruce Love, last October.
Houck’s team has said Love aggressively approached their 12-year-old son and began making obscene comments and that Houck was protecting his son. The local police showed up at the scene when the incident happened, but there was reportedly insufficient evidence to proceed.
Love filed a criminal complaint against Houck but reportedly never showed up in court. All of this led to consternation and concern when the FBI arrested Houck at his home last month, with a swarm of agents descending with guns drawn.
Then, over a separate incident unfolding last spring, 11 more pro-life activists were detained earlier this month for purportedly blocking clinic access in Tennessee. And yet another case is underway over pro-life activists’ alleged actions in Washington, D.C.
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