Justice's Gupta faces renewed scrutiny over crisis pregnancy centers criticism amid new attacks

Sen. Hawley said the official's comments are "no surprise" considering the DOJ's "disregard" for attacks on pro-life groups

Updated: July 28, 2022 - 2:29pm

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A letter written in by Vanita Gupta when she led a civil rights activist group and before she was confirmed in April as associate U.S. attorney general that was critical of crisis pregnancy centers is facing new scrutiny amid recent attacks on such facilities.

In 2020, as president and CEO of Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights, she wrote a letter regarding a judicial nominee that the group opposed in which she quoted a similar group calling the facilities "fake health-care clinics that lie to, shame and intentionally mislead women about their reproductive-health-care options to block them from accessing abortion care."

Such facilities typically offer women an alternative to abortion and appear to be under increasing attack since the Supreme Court last month struck down its decades-old decision on Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion.

Dozens of crisis pregnancy centers, to which the facilities are also referred, have been firebombed or vandalized in the wake of the decision. Anarchist group Jane's Revenge, which has claimed responsibility for many of the attacks, has used similar rhetoric to Gupta, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said Gupta's comments are "no surprise" considering the Justice Department's "disregard" for attacks on anti-abortion groups.

He introduced legislation earlier this month that would expand criminal penalties for attacks on such facilities.

"It’s shameful that Joe Biden’s Department of Justice – responsible for enforcing our laws – is ignoring the epidemic of violent attacks against organizations that are just trying to provide health care to women in need," Hawley told the outlet.

CatholicVote President Brian Burch said: "Gupta’s attacks on pregnancy resource centers, which help pregnant women in need, are shameful and utterly irresponsible."

The FBI told the Free Beacon that the attacks on pro-life centers are "being investigated as potential acts of domestic violent extremism, FACE Act violations, or violent crime matters, depending on the facts of each case."

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