Florida attorney general takes action against Antifa, activists who vandalize pregnancy centers
“Criminal organizations sought to silence and intimidate crisis pregnancy centers’ workers and clients nationwide by vandalizing or even setting fire to their buildings,” Moody said.
(The Center Square) -
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sued two members of Antifa and Jane’s Revenge over accusations they vandalized Florida crisis pregnancy centers last year.
After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision was leaked in the landmark abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, pro-abortion activists and members of “criminal organizations sought to silence and intimidate crisis pregnancy centers’ workers and clients nationwide by vandalizing or even setting fire to their buildings,” Moody said.
Two of their members, Caleb Hunter Freestone of Miami, and Amber Marie Smith-Stewart, of Ocoee, participated in at least three attacks against Florida crisis pregnancy centers, the complaint states. Moody is suing them, arguing they violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
The law subjects alleged offenders to civil and criminal penalties 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” or who “intentionally damages or destroys the property of a facility, or attempts to do so, because such facility provides reproductive health services.”
“Antifa and Jane’s Revenge are criminal organizations and must answer for their crimes in Florida,” Moody said. “I am taking action to hold their members accountable for attempting to intimidate and threaten law-abiding citizens in our state.”
On or about May 28, 2022, the defendants damaged and destroyed the property of South Broward Pregnancy Help Center in Hollywood, Florida, spray painting threats on its property including, “If abortions aren’t SAFE then niether [sic] are you,” according to the complaint. The center offers free counseling, pregnancy testing, and ultrasound examination to unexpectant mothers.
On or about June 26, 2022, defendants damaged and destroyed the property of LifeChoice crisis pregnancy center in Winter Haven, Florida, which offers free counseling, pregnancy testing, and ultrasound examination to unexpectant mothers, according to the complaint. Defendants spray painted their facility with threats including “YOUR TIME IS UP!!”; “WE’RE COMING for U”; and “We are everywhere,” according to the complaint.
On or about July 3, 2022, defendants damaged and destroyed the property of Heartbeat of Miami pregnancy center in Hialeah, Florida, which offers free counseling, pregnancy testing, and ultrasound examination to unexpectant mothers, according to the complaint. Defendants spray painted threats on its building, including “If abortions aren’t safe the [sic] neither are you,” according to the complaint.
Roughly 50 incidents of “arson, vandalism, property theft, and property destruction” targeting churches, prolife organizations, individuals and other incidents were initially reported last year after the leak. At least 16 churches, 23 prolife organizations and nine other incidents of vandalism, protests, bomb threats and assaults were reported against prolife groups and individuals at the time.
Jane’s Revenge last June posted a statement online calling on activists to disrupt society, saying “we need the state to feel our full wrath … We need them to be afraid of us” and “whoever you are and wherever you are, we are asking for you to do what you can to make your anger known … To those who work to oppress us: If abortion isn’t safe, you aren’t either. We are everywhere.”
It also posted on Twitter: “Night of Rage: An Autonomous Call to Action Against Patriarchal Supremacy! To those who work to oppress us: If abortion isn’t safe, you aren’t either. We are everywhere. Signed, JANE’S REVENGE.”
The defendants’ attacks on the Florida pregnancy centers harmed the clinics and the women seeking and in need of pregnancy-related services, and created “an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, and destabilize civil society,” the complaint states.
The lawsuit asks the court to enter judgment against the defendants for $30,000 in damages and $140,000 in civil penalties for each defendant.