U.S. House passes resolution condemning attacks on pro-life centers and churches

 

A Detroit-area pro-life pregnancy center and the home of one of its board members were spray-painted with threatening messages early in the morning of Dec. 17, 2022. / Pregnancy Aid Detroit

St. Louis, Mo., Jan 12, 2023 / 11:10 am (CNA).

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning recent attacks of vandalism, violence, and destruction against pro-life facilities, groups, and churches, and called on the Biden administration to investigate and prosecute the crimes.

House Resolution 1233, introduced by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana), affirms “the sanctity of life and the important role pro-life facilities, groups, and churches play in supporting pregnant women, infants, and families.”

The resolution also calls on the Biden administration to “use all appropriate law enforcement authorities to uphold public safety and to protect the rights of pro-life facilities, groups, and churches.”

The measure passed Jan. 11 by a vote of 222-209, with just three of the 209 House Democrats joining all 219 House Republicans — except for three Republicans who did not vote — in approving the resolution.

The three Democrats who voted for the resolution were Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Washington), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pennsylvania), and Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas).

The resolution comes in response to a growing number of pro-abortion attacks targeting churches and pro-life pregnancy centers in the United States following the Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which returned the question of abortion policy to the states.

Ever since a draft of the Dobbs decision leaked in May 2022, CNA has tracked and mapped more than 100 incidents of pro-abortion vandalism across the U.S., including at least 56 at pregnancy centers and 33 at churches of various denominations. The Wednesday resolution mentions nearly 30 of those incidents but also notes that “the Biden administration has failed to take action to respond.”

See CNA article for full-size map.

Following the vote, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) issued a statement of support for the resolution.

“[I]n the face of a growing movement to devalue the miracle of life, we must also protect every American fighting for life — including those at pro-life pregnancy centers and churches from violence and threats. We will continue to prioritize the defense of life and all individuals from violence and intimidation,” McCarthy said.

There are an estimated 3,000 pregnancy care centers in the United States. According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the research arm of SBA Pro-Life America, more than 800,000 unborn babies’ lives were saved over the course of five years because of pregnancy centers.

CLI also reported that these centers offered services and material assistance amounting to more than $266 million in 2019 alone. These centers serve hundreds of thousands of women at little to no cost by offering everything from medical services, pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and parenting classes to supplies such as diapers, baby food, and even a place to stay.

That same evening, Jan. 11, a pro-life bill, the ​​Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, passed the House. The act requires medical care for babies who survive attempted abortions. It promises “to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.” The act now goes to the Democrat-controlled Senate, where it is unlikely to advance.

The act has the support of the U.S. Catholic bishops, and the bishops’ pro-life chair applauded its Wednesday passage. 


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