by Shannon McGinley, Executive Director, Cornerstone Action
Whatever you may think of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the recent attacks on churches and pregnancy centers should alarm you. Gone are the days when we could openly and freely discuss our differences, recognizing that everyone has a right to their opinion. Today, there is an oppressive movement to deny basic constitutional rights to those who do not agree with the mob. There is no freedom when leftist vigilantes decide to come for you.
Since early May when the draft Supreme Court opinion was leaked, there have been more than 40 attacks on pro-life organizations across the country. These include pro-life pregnancy centers and churches. The photos are horrific — threatening messages scrawled across walls, property destruction, arson, websites taken down. Many of these facilities have been identified courtesy of a widely available “hit map,” courtesy of two University of Georgia professors, who describe the centers as “fake women’s health centers.”
At the end of June, Pathways Pregnancy Center in Littleton was defaced with the message “fund abortion abort God” scrawled on the side of the building. Two pro-life centers in Worcester, Mass. were viciously vandalized. Many of these attacks happened in broad daylight with apparent impunity. Small wonder. Reporters and politicians are part of the rallying cry to do violence and attack institutions dedicated to supporting women and unborn children. Even the civil rights division chief in the Justice Department responsible for investigating these crimes is on record as stating crisis pregnancy centers are “harmful” and “predatory.”
Pregnancy centers are targeted precisely because they are not abortion-focused. Ironically, in the left’s world view they shouldn’t even exist. After all, the pro-life community doesn’t care about children after they’re born. Just ask any abortion true-believer. The truth is that pregnancy centers have significantly outnumbered abortion facilities for some years. There is absolutely nothing illegal about what they do. They are nonprofits offering help to women with unplanned pregnancies. This encompasses services such as free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, counseling, job placement, housing, and needed supplies. Many have licensed medical professionals on staff. Unlike abortion-focused facilities, women can explore their options in a supportive environment. This is exactly why the abortion lobby hates them.
Consider recent nationwide legislation proposed by Democrats — notably co-sponsored by the Granite State’s own Congresswoman Annie Kuster — to “battle disinformation” that itself contains multiple factual errors about the services and information provided to women in crisis. Make no mistake, this isn’t about battling disinformation, it’s about denying life-affirming options and needed support to women facing a very difficult decision. Abortion mills are about abortion. Period.
But this is about more than abortion, as critical as that debate is. This is about the unprecedented power of domestic terrorists to unilaterally deny the constitutionally-protected rights of fellow U.S. citizens by subjecting them to an oppressive atmosphere of fear, intimidation and violence. Just a few years ago, this would not have been tolerated in the land of the free and the brave. But we live in far different times now when such blatantly criminal behavior is not only allowed but encouraged by those in power. What you believe, not what you do, determines your punishment. This is not new. We only need to look at the government’s inaction in the wake of the summer 2020 riots to see the handwriting on the wall.
On July 4, the day we celebrate our nation’s hard-won freedom and independence, a crisis pregnancy center in St. Paul, Minn., was vandalized with the message “Abort America” angrily spray painted in red on the center’s formerly white siding. Is that where we’re headed? No American, regardless of their stand on abortion, should want to see the day that happens.
This op-ed first appeared in the Union Leader on July 21, 2022