Mike Lee Confronts Garland Over 'Disparity' in Charging Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Activists


Attorney General Merrick Garland is being asked to explain the “disparity” in how pro-life activists are treated compared to pro-choice activists.

During a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) noted the Department of Justice (DOJ) had announced charges against 34 individuals for the vandalism of abortion clinics or blocking access to them.

He also pointed out there have been over “81 reported attacks on pregnancy centers” and “130 attacks on Catholic churches” since the draft opinion of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked.

However, he said there have only been two individuals charged with such incidents.

“So how do you explain this disparity by reference to anything other than politicization of what’s happening there?” Lee asked.

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Garland began by noting the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) “applies equally” to abortion clinics and pregnancy centers.

He insisted his department is applying the law “equally.”

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Still, he added, “You are quite right. There are many more prosecutions with respect to the blocking of abortion centers.”

Garland continued:

“But that is generally because those actions are taken with photography at the time, during the daylight, and seeing the person who did it is quite easy. Those who are attacking the pregnancy resource centers — which is a horrid thing to do — are doing this at night in the dark. We have put full resources on this. We have put rewards out for this.”

Finally, he said, “We will prosecute every case against a pregnancy resource center that we can make. But these people who are doing this are clever and are doing it in secret. And I am convinced that the FBI is trying to find them with urgency.”

Conservatives have accused the DOJ of targeting pro-life activists. In October 2022, 11 pro-life activists were charged for blocking the entrance of an abortion clinic in 2021.

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And pro-life activist Mark Houck was arrested in September 2022 for allegedly shoving an abortion clinic escort the previous year. He was acquitted in January.

According to Fox News, there have been at least 100 pro-life organizations attacked since the leak of the Supreme Court decision

Janes Revenge, an organization that advocates for abortion access, claimed credit for at least 12 incidents.

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