by Laurel Duggan
A top Department of Justice (DOJ) official who has criticized pregnancy resource centers, which she called “fake clinics,” is responsible for overseeing the prosecution of two individuals indicted for attacking pregnancy resource centers, according to the DOJ.
The DOJ indicted Caleb Freestone and Amber Smith-Stewart this week for various FACE Act violations after they allegedly spray-painted threats on pregnancy resource centers such as “If abortions aren’t safe than niether [sic] are you” and “WE’RE COMING for U,” according to the DOJ. Kristen Clarke, the Assistant Attorney General heading the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, which will be prosecuting this case, condemned the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to strike down a California law requiring pregnancy resource centers to offer information about state-funded abortions, as previously reported by The Washington Free Beacon.
“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 #ExposeFakeClincs,” she wrote.
She also argued the centers target women of color.
“Today’s #SCOTUS ruling striking down CA law that required crisis pregnancy centers to provide factual information about state-offered services, including abortions, will have harmful consequences for women, especially women of color who are often targeted by predatory CPCs,” she wrote.
Her complaint echoes a popular sentiment among abortion supporters: that pregnancy centers offering medical services and material resources rather than abortions are actually deceptive and predatory. Whatever It Takes, a left-wing activist group with whom Freestone was involved, used the same #ExposeFakeClinics hashtag as Clarke in a 2022 Facebook post, according to the Free Beacon.
The FACE Act makes it a federal crime to interfere with someone “because that person is a provider of reproductive health care.” The DOJ has used it to charge protesters for allegedly obstructing access to abortion clinics, but Freestone and Smith-Stewart are the first known suspects to be indicted under the FACE Act in relation to a string of attacks on pro-life groups, pregnancy resource centers and churches in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
Smith-Stewart’s Facebook page is filled with event advertisements for and photographs of far-left and anti-police protests, while Freestone was charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing and resisting arrest after a heated debate that broke out at a Miami-Dade County School Board meeting in July 2022; Freestone is also involved with left-wing climate activist group Extinction Rebellion, according to WLRN.
Freestone and Smith-Stewart could each face up to a maximum of 12 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fines of up to $350,000, according to the DOJ.
The DOJ and its Civil Rights Division did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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Laurel Duggan is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.