Legislation

Reps. Smith, McMorris Rodgers introduce legislation to help protect pregnancy care centers against violent extremist attacks

Biden Administration remains silent 

Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) today introduced new legislation—the Protect Pregnancy Care Centers Act of 2022—that would require the Biden Administration to publicly disclose how it is handling the investigation and prosecution of violent extremists who attack pregnancy resource centers. The bill already has 28 cosponsors.

“Now more than ever, we need to ensure the safety and security of the estimated 3,000 pregnancy care centers that provide life-affirming alternatives to abortion—offering critical, quality care for pregnant women facing challenging circumstances and helping to save so many unborn, innocent lives,” said Smith, who noted that the lives of more than 828,130 unborn babies have been saved through the work of pregnancy care centers.

“Pregnancy care centers across the country have suffered a surge of violent attacks, firebombing and vandalism by pro-abortion activists in a coordinated effort to intimidate front-line volunteers and licensed medical professionals providing critical support to mothers in need and their unborn baby boys and girls,” said Smith.

The Smith-Rodgers bill comes as attacks against pregnancy care centers have surged—with nearly 70 acts of violence recorded since the Supreme Court Dobbs leak in May—and follows an ominous declaration of “open season” by the pro-abortion group “Jane’s Revenge” on pro-life pregnancy centers, amounting to what Smith called “horrific acts of terrorism.”

“My goal is to foster an environment where no woman feels like their only option is abortion, and I am committed to supporting women and children at every stage of life,” said Rodgers. “The violent attacks on pregnancy centers in Washington state and across the country are reprehensible and only endanger and intimidate the women who depend on them for critical medical care, education, and other resources. I believe all extreme and hateful acts of violence should be condemned, which is why I’m helping lead this legislation to hold President Biden accountable for his failure to respond to this threat with the urgency it deserves.”

Among its provisions, the Protect Pregnancy Care Centers Act would require the Inspector Generals of the Justice Department and Homeland Security to investigate and disclose to Congress information on the Biden Administration’s response to the surging violence, including details gathered on groups that have claimed responsibility for the attacks and the number of prosecutions initiated against perpetrators.

The legislation has already won widespread support from leading organizations including National Right to Life, Heartbeat International, Heartbeat International, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, March for Life, Family Research Council, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Heritage Action.

Smith said the bill would also require the Administration to report on current funding streams available to pregnancy care centers for needed security measures to guard against violent threats and provide recommendations for the creation of additional grant programs to protect them given the spike in attacks in recent months.

“These crimes against innocent victims are unconscionable and stand in clear violation of 18 U.S. Code § 248—current law that requires the Biden Administration to investigate and prosecute the individuals threatening, vandalizing, and damaging pregnancy centers,” said Smith.

“Our new bill takes President Biden to task for his dereliction of duty to protect these centers from domestic violent extremists and will help hold the Biden Administration accountable for its obligation to prosecute those who are inflicting terror and destroying these vital resource centers,” Smith said.

 According to a recent study, pregnancy care centers across the United States provided crucial services such as parenting and prenatal education programs and after-abortion counselling, as well as critical material support—generally free of charge—to close to 2,000,000 patients, including approximately:

  • 732,000 pregnancy tests;
  • 486,000 free ultrasounds;
  • 160,200 STI/STD tests;
  • 2,000,000 baby outfits;
  • 1,300,000 packs of diapers;
  • 30,000 new car seats; 
  • and 19,000 strollers.

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