TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is taking legal action against Antifa and Jane’s Revenge criminal activists who vandalized Florida crisis pregnancy centers. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s leaked decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, pro-abortion extremists from these criminal organizations sought to silence and intimidate crisis pregnancy centers’ workers and clients nationwide by vandalizing or even setting fire to their buildings. Caleb Hunter Freestone and Amber Marie Smith-Stewart are members of these groups and participated in at least three attacks against crisis pregnancy centers in Florida. Through the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, Attorney General Moody is asking a federal court to assess damages and fines against the defendants of $170,000 each.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Antifa and Jane’s Revenge are criminal organizations and must answer for their crimes in Florida. I am taking action to hold their members accountable for attempting to intimidate and threaten law-abiding citizens in our state.”
The First Liberty Institute is also filing a suit for damages on behalf of one of the victimized clinics. First Liberty Institute President, CEO and Chief Counsel Kelly Shackelford said, “Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is leading the effort to protect all faith-based pregnancy care centers across the country. The rule of law compels this lawsuit. If you use violence as a means to advance your disagreement, you will be held accountable by the law.”
First Liberty Institute Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys said, “Those who target life-affirming reproductive health facilities must face the legal penalties Congress established for their crimes. No one should suffer violence for simply providing faith-based counseling and baby supplies to women and their babies. Violence is never a lawful response to disagreement.”
After someone leaked the draft opinion in Dobbs, Antifa and Jane’s Revenge began targeting crisis pregnancy centers nationwide by spray painting walls, breaking windows and even setting fire to some buildings. The centers are nonprofit organizations that offer free services and counseling to pregnant women.
Following the leak, extremists vandalized crisis pregnancy centers across the nation, by spray painting threatening words on the buildings and firebombing facilities. Extremists vandalized at least four centers in Minnesota, while others firebombed a center in Colorado. According to a news report, at least 58 crisis pregnancy centers and organizations experienced attacks since the Dobbs leak.
According to Attorney General Moody’s complaint, Freestone and Smith-Stewart participated in such coordinated attacks in Florida, vandalizing at least three crisis centers, including the South Broward Pregnancy Help Center, LifeChoice crisis pregnancy center in Winter Haven and Heartbeat of Miami in Hialeah. The defendants spray painted on center walls the Jane’s Revenge calling card: “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you.”
The complaint states: “These attacks harm clinics offering services free of charge, harm citizens seeking and in need of pregnancy related services, create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, and destabilize civil society.”
Attorney General Moody is pursuing civil action against the defendants for violations of the FACE Act. The FACE Act subjects civil and criminal penalties to any person who “by force or threat of force…intentionally…intimidates or interferes with or attempts to…intimidate or interfere with any person because that person is or has been…providing reproductive health services.”
Attorney General Moody is asking the court to enter judgment against the defendants for $30,000 in damages, as well as civil penalties of $140,000, for each defendant.