HomeInvestmentThe Attacks on Crisis-Pregnancy Centers

The Attacks on Crisis-Pregnancy Centers

A sign with a call to violence on the streets of Capitol Hill in Washington, June 17.


Jon Hartley

Luke Cirillo

got a call from police in the wee hours of June 10. Someone “threw an incendiary through one of the windows, which lit a significant fire in the back room,” says the CEO of First Image, which runs three crisis-pregnancy centers in the Portland, Ore., area. The room was destroyed, and the center, in Gresham, is temporarily closed.

It was the second attack at a First Image facility in as many months. On May 5, vandals shattered windows and spray-painted “F— CPCs”—crisis-pregnancy centers—on the wall in Southeast Portland.

First Image, established in 1984, is one of dozens of pro-life pregnancy centers and churches vandalized or attacked since the May 2 leak of Justice

Samuel Alito’s

draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Susan B. Anthony

Pro-Life America, a nonprofit advocacy group, issued a report last week detailing more than 40 “incidents of violence, vandalism and intimidation” since the leak.

A CompassCare pregnancy center in Buffalo, N.Y., was firebombed on June 7. Photos CompassCare posted on


show shattered windows and charred interiors. CEO

Jim Harden

says the damage will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair. Also at the scene: “Jane was here,” scrawled in cursive on the side of the building. On June 14, a communiqué signed “Jane’s Revenge” and posted to Abolition Media appeared to take credit for many of the pregnancy-center attacks.

“We are not one group but many,” said the missive, adding that “you have seen us” in Buffalo, Gresham, Portland and 13 other cities where pregnancy centers have been attacked in recent weeks. The Federal Bureau of Investigation told the Washington Examiner on Thursday that it is investigating the attacks.

While the violent fringe throws firebombs, the mainstream abortion movement has waged legal war on pregnancy centers—most famously in California, which ordered them to post information on how clients could obtain abortions. That case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled 5-4 in favor of the pregnancy centers in Nifla v. Becerra (2018).

More legal battles are sure to come. New York Gov.

Kathy Hochul

signed a bill last week authorizing the state health commissioner to investigate the “impact” of these centers on women’s access to “reproductive and sexual health care services.” A Connecticut pregnancy center is suing over a state deceptive-advertising law that targets these centers.

All this belies the abortion-rights movement’s characterization of itself as “pro-choice.” No woman is forced to go to one of these clinics, where more than 10,000 licensed medical professionals worked or volunteered as of 2019, according to the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute. In addition to providing ultrasounds and pregnancy tests, the centers help women get supplies and counseling.

However organized Jane’s Revenge may be, the threats and attacks in its name are real. “For the allies of ours who doubt the authenticity of the communiqués and actions: there is a way you can get irrefutable proof that these actions are real. Go do one of your own,” says the June 14 message. “Everyone with the urge to paint, to burn, to cut, to jam: now is the time.”

A handbill posted in Washington’s Capitol Hill last week, ostensibly from Jane’s Revenge, promises a “NIGHT OF RAGE” after “SCOTUS OVERTURNS ROE V. WADE.” “TO OUR OPPRESSORS,” the handbill declares: “IF ABORTIONS AREN’T SAFE, YOU’RE NOT EITHER.”

Mr. Cirillo says the threats are a “concern” but “not one that daunts us at all in the work.” Mr. Harden, emphasizing his organization’s Christian mission, says CompassCare is “not going to stop” offering services. “We do what we do because of what we believe”—including “that everyone is made in the image of God. We even value the lives of those who firebombed our facility.”

Ms. Ault is an assistant editorial page writer at the Journal.

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