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Justice Department Official Admits To Taking Pro-Life In Wake Of SCOTUS Roe v Wade Ruling

Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta admitted earlier this month that the Justice Department has stepped up prosecutions of pro-life activists under a 1990s law following a Supreme Court ruling over the summer that overturned the landmark case, Roe v. Wade.

In remarks delivered at the Justice Department’s 65th anniversary on December 6, Gupta said the Supreme Court decision “dealt a devastating blow to women across the country.”

FILE:L-R, US Attorney Merrick Garland looks on as Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta speaks during a news conference at the US Department of Justice August 2, 2022 in Washington, DC.
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The decision, he said, removed the constitutional right to abortion and increased the “urgency” of DOJ’s work “including enforcement of the FACE Act, to ensure continued legal access to reproductive services.”

The Free Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994, or FACE Act, is a law that guarantees Americans’ access to pro-life and pro-choice reproductive health services.


The law makes it a federal crime, with potentially large fines and prison time, to use or threaten to use force to “injure, intimidate, or interfere” with a person seeking reproductive health services, or with a person attempting to exercise legally the First Modification of the right to religious freedom in a place of religious worship. The FACE Act also prohibits intentional damage to the property of a facility that provides reproductive health services or a place of religious worship.

The Justice Department stepped up prosecutions of pro-life activists in the months after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, under a law that was barely used in 2020 and 2021, but has now been used to charge 26 people this year. In contrast, only four FACE Act indictments were pursued in 2021, according to the Justice Department.

Pro-life activists attempt to block a pro-choice activist's sign during the 2018 March for Life on January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC.  A

Pro-life activists attempt to block a pro-choice activist’s sign during the 2018 March for Life on January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. A
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

While the DOJ has been prosecuting alleged violations of the FACE Act by pro-life activists, the Supreme Court’s decision has also led to dozens of violent incidents at pro-life pregnancy centers staged by pro-choice protesters. For example, the radical abortion rights group Jane’s Revenge has claimed credit for vandalizing or bombing at least 18 of these pro-life clinics.

But the FBI has not made any arrests related to these incidents, and so far no FACE Act charges have been filed against anyone involved in these attacks.

The FBI has denied allegations by Republican lawmakers that the agency’s investigations are politically motivated. Last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray said during a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearing: “We have a lot of investigations right now, about attacks or threats against pregnancy resource centers, religious and other professional organizations. -organizations of life”.

He insisted that about 70% of the FBI’s abortion-related violence investigations have been pro-life threats.

“We’re going to pursue that through our joint counterterrorism task forces, through our criminal authorities, the FACE Act and things like that,” Wray said. “We have about 20 field offices involved in this, so we take it very seriously. And again, I don’t care if you’re motivated by pro-life or pro-choice views, you can’t use violence to express it”.


Fox News Digital has reached out to Gupta for comment. She served in the Obama administration and was appointed Associate Attorney General by President Joe Biden and confirmed on April 21, 2021.

The Justice Department referred questions to the FBI, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fox News’ Brianna Herlihy contributed to this report.

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