(LifeSiteNews) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) official who will oversee the prosecution of two activists charged with vandalizing pro-life pregnancy centers has previously maligned such centers as “fake” and “predatory,” according to a report by the Washington Free Beacon.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, who leads the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, will prosecute a case involving the two Florida residents who were indicted last week by a federal grand jury.
According to a press release published January 24 by the Biden administration’s Justice Department, Caleb Freestone (27) and Amber Smith-Stewart (23) allegedly targeted three pro-life centers in Florida, working with co-conspirators to spray-paint messages on the outer walls of the buildings that included “If abortions aren’t safe than [sic] niether [sic] are you,” “YOUR TIME IS UP!!, “WE’RE COMING for U,” and “We are everywhere,” LifeSiteNews previously reported.
READ: Federal grand jury indicts pro-abortion activists who allegedly attacked pro-life centers in Florida
In a Wednesday report, however, the Washington Free Beacon pointed out that Clarke herself, who heads up investigations into potential violations of the FACE act, has maligned the same sort of pro-life pregnancy centers that Freestone and Smith-Stewart are charged with targeting.
In 2018, Clarke blasted the U.S. Supreme Court for striking down a California law that would have forced pro-life centers to inform women about their options to kill their preborn babies.
“Make no mistake, today’s decision at the #SCOTUS striking down a CA disclosure requirement for crisis pregnancy centers is part of a coordinated strategy to tear down #RoevWade,” Clarke said, characterizing the pro-life movement as the “anti-choice movement,” which, she said “will stop at nothing.”
Make no mistake, today’s decision at the #SCOTUS striking down a CA disclosure requirement for crisis pregnancy centers is part of a coordinated strategy to tear down #RoevWade.
The anti-choice movement will stop at nothing.#EndTheLies #ExposeFakeClincshttps://t.co/IoSTDZavQ6
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) June 26, 2018
In her tweet, Clarke used hashtags #EndTheLies #ExposeFakeClincs, promulgating a pro-abortion narrative that pro-life pregnancy resource centers are “fake clinics” that “lie” to expecting mothers by not promoting the murder of the unborn.
In another tweet reacting to the same Supreme Court decision, Clarke suggested that pro-life pregnancy centers were “predatory” and targeted “women of color.”
Clarke, who last year charged nine pro-lifers with FACE Act violations for blocking access to a Washington, D.C., abortion facility, according to the Washington Free Beacon, also led a civil rights group called The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Like Clarke herself, the group similarly contended that pro-life resource centers “target some of the most vulnerable women in communities today.”
It’s unclear in what ways pregnancy resource centers are “predatory” toward or “target” pregnant women of color.
Available data does suggest that black women are disproportionately represented among abortion-seekers, and that black babies are at far more risk from abortion than babies of other races.
Data from the CDC indicates that some 117,626 black babies were the victims of surgical abortion in 2018, accounting for a third of the number of born black Americans (341,408) who died in 2018. Black babies aborted in 2018 also accounted for 33.6% of all abortions that year, in spite of the fact that black women comprise only about 13% of the U.S. female population. Meanwhile, since federal abortion statistics are hindered by voluntary reporting and variable standards among the states, the actual numbers are likely much higher.
While abortion clinics enable the mass slaughter of black babies, pro-life pregnancy centers provide women of all races with information, resources, and alternatives to encourage them to choose life for their children.
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Clarke’s comments deriding pro-life resource centers prompted Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to argue that she ought never to have been confirmed.
Rubio told the Washington Free Beacon that Clarke’s “disdain toward the very people now under threat was predictable and it should be disqualifying.”
The senator called on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to ensure that Clarke has “no involvement in any of these cases as those move forward.”
On Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he had been “surprised” to hear that the DOJ was prosecuting the alleged vandals at all, given that “the Department of Justice had not been willing to hold those types of perpetrators accountable,” LifeSiteNews reported.
Opining that the indictment of Freestone and Smith-Stewart was “a step in the right direction,” DeSantis contended that the Biden DOJ has been “asleep … at the wheel on this for a long time.”
Meanwhile, Clarke is far from alone in her allegations against pro-life pregnancy centers.
In addition to contending with vandalism from pro-abortion activists, the centers and their staffers have long been in the crosshairs of Democratic politicians.
In July, U.S. President Joe Biden directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to crack down on any centers deemed to employ “deceptive or fraudulent practices,” a label frequently applied to pro-life centers that do consultations with expectant moms who are considering abortion in order to encourage them to choose life.
The following month, Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of New Jersey called on the Senate to “do everything we can to ensure that patients get the health care and reproductive services that they need – and that includes protecting patients from the deceptive practices of some so-called ‘crisis pregnancy centers.’”