More than 100 pro-life centres in the US have been attacked since the leak of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson on May 2.
The attacks have involved vandalism and ransacking of the centres, spray-painting of pro-abortion graffiti on the walls, smashed windows and in many instances death threats to the volunteers working in the centres. 17 of the attacks so far involved the firebombing of pro-life centres, attacks that could easily have led to a loss of life.
To date, there have been no arrests for any of these violent attacks on pro-life centres. However, during the same period, 26 pro-life activists have been prosecuted in the US for engaging in peaceful pro-life protests that involved no violence or damage to property.
Among those arrested in the past week, was Herb Geraghty, Executive Director of the non-violent pro-life group Rehumanize. If convicted for his attendance at a peaceful pro-life protest, he faces a lenghty prison sentence.
In response to his recent arrest, he said: “This past weekend I learned I was indicted on charges related to non-violent pro-life advocacy. If convicted, I am facing up to 11 years in federal prison. That is obviously terrifying. However, 11 years is nothing compared to having your life snuffed out before you are even old enough to take your first steps or speak your first words. Much has already been said about the unjust and political nature of the recent arrests and charges brought against myself and other pro-life activists and leaders. It is clear that the Biden administration intends to use the DOJ as a weapon against political dissidents. Thank you to those who are speaking up in our defense and calling for justice.”
There’s no question that a two-tiered system of justice now exists in the US in the way that pro-life supporters are being charged while pro-abortion activists are let off scot-free. The conduct of the Department of Justice under Merrick Garland is appalling and inexcusable and brings the entire justice system in the US into disrepute.
The refusal of Merrick Garland and others to take decisive action with regard to the attacks on pro-life centres has undoubtedly contributed to the increase in the number of physical assaults perpetrated against pro-life campaigners.
Last month in the state of Michigan, Joan Jacobson, a retired nurse was shot and injured while canvassing door-to-door for the pro-life cause. She was screamed at by a woman for calling to her home and as she turned and peacefully walked away, she was shot and hit in the shoulder by a man who emerged from the dwelling. The bullet from a .22 caliber rifle entered near the front of her shoulder and exited through her back, closely missing her spine.
Richard Harvey was charged with shooting Ms Jacobson and was released on bail shortly afterwards. The shooting is just one in a series of physical attacks on pro-lifers in the US in recent months, attacks that have not been roundly condemned by the vast majority of senior politicians and campaigners on the pro-abortion side.
While Nicholas John Roske from California was changed for attempting to assassinate pro-life Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh outside his Maryland home in May, it is shocking how little coverage this particular story received and the way in which senior politicians like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to comment when asked about this and other attacks on pro-life individuals.
At present in Ireland, a bill to prosecute pro-life activists for peacefully protesting outside abortion facilities is being discussed at the Oireachtas Health Committee. Stories are appearing in the newspapers everyday claiming nasty and intimidating pro-life protests are happening outside abortion facilities all the time in Ireland. These are false and outlandish claims as no such protests are taking place. The Pro Life Campaign has set the record straight in its detailed submission to the Health Committee. We will oppose every step of the way attempts to pass this draconian and wholly discriminatory bill which singles out pro-life volunteers and seeks to criminalise them.
While we must continue to defend the right to life of unborn babies at every available opportunity, we must also stand united against the imposition of a two-tiered justice system in Ireland regarding the administration of justice and treatment of individuals on both sides of the debate.