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Free Speech

Federal Guilty Plea as to "Jane's Revenge" Threats and Vandalism Toward "Pro-Life Pregnancy Help Centers"


From yesterday's Justice Department press release:

Three Florida residents pleaded guilty today to conspiring to injure, oppress, threaten or intimidate employees of pregnancy resource centers in the free exercise of the right to provide and seek to provide reproductive health services. The defendants selected reproductive health facilities that provided and counseled abortion alternatives and vandalized those facilities with threatening messages.

According to court documents, between May and July 2022, Caleb Freestone, Amber Smith-Stewart and Annarella Rivera engaged in a series of targeted attacks on pro-life pregnancy help centers in Florida. The defendants admitted they participated in the attack in the dark of night and, while wearing masks and dark clothing to obscure their identities, spray painted the facilities with threatening messages, including "If abortions aren't safe than niether [sic] are you," "YOUR TIME IS UP!!," "WE'RE COMING for U" and "We are everywhere."

"These defendants vandalized pregnancy resource centers with threatening messages meant to terrify the employees of those centers," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "Violence and threats have no place in the national discourse about reproductive rights. The Justice Department is committed to holding accountable those who seek to interfere with access to reproductive health services in our country, without regard to the point of view of the defendants or their victims."

"Federal law protects providers who render reproductive health care and those who seek their services," said U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg for the Middle District of Florida. "Neither should be subject to unlawful intimidation or threats of harm. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners in protecting access to reproductive health care and federally prosecuting those interfering with that right." …

The defendants "aligned themselves with a pro-choice extremist network known as 'Jane's Revenge,'" and the attack immediately followed the Dobbs opinion leak.