O’Connor demands action on terrorists attacking pro-lifers

Criminal Justice

Ray Carter | June 22, 2022

O’Connor demands action on terrorists attacking pro-lifers

Ray Carter

Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor has joined 18 of his state counterparts to urge federal law enforcement officials to take action against the rising tide of domestic-terrorist attacks on pro-life organizations and also vowed to devote state resources to those prosecution efforts.

“We cannot tolerate assaults on religious and pro-life groups,” O’Connor said.

Since the May 2 leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that declared abortion a constitutional right, at least 29 pregnancy resource centers and offices of pro-life groups have been attacked, according to data maintained by CatholicVote.

Many of the organizations that have been attacked are pregnancy resource centers, which provide free medical and financial support to pregnant and new mothers.

In their June 21 letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, O’Connor and the other state attorneys general noted the attacks have included firebombing.

The state attorneys general attribute the rising tide of domestic-extremist violence, in part, to the policy of leniency pursued by the Biden administration towards various domestic groups that have engaged in violence.

Their letter notes that “over the past year, the federal government has repeatedly sought leniency for violent criminals motivated by what this Administration perceives as progress. All the while, it has taken bizarrely aggressive positions toward its ideological opponents—for example, parents who speak out at school-board meetings. Intentional or not, budding domestic terrorists have apparently received the message: the Department of Justice is going easy on those who use violence in furtherance of favored viewpoints.”

The letter noted that violent organizations “are now publicly inciting terroristic acts” (emphasis in original).

The attorneys general noted that one organization, Jane’s Revenge, has claimed credit for attacks in Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin, and declared “open season” on pro-life organizations, including calls to “to burn” and “cut” pro-life centers and advocates.

“The Department of Justice must investigate and prosecute these terroristic threats and acts,” the attorneys general stated. “It should start with Jane’s Revenge—the FBI has more than enough resources to determine the organization’s members and to track down those carrying out these acts of violence, which qualify as terrorism under federal law. And while Jane’s Revenge offers an obvious starting point, the supply of entities deserving to be investigated hardly stops there.”

O’Connor and his colleagues offered to provide federal officials with state assistance, writing that their offices “stand ready to aid in these investigations and prosecutions. Political violence—no matter the cause, and no matter the perpetrator—must be punished, and harshly.”

The letter was led by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Ray Carter Director, Center for Independent Journalism

Ray Carter

Director, Center for Independent Journalism

Ray Carter is the director of OCPA’s Center for Independent Journalism. He has two decades of experience in journalism and communications. He previously served as senior Capitol reporter for The Journal Record, media director for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and chief editorial writer at The Oklahoman. As a reporter for The Journal Record, Carter received 12 Carl Rogan Awards in four years—including awards for investigative reporting, general news reporting, feature writing, spot news reporting, business reporting, and sports reporting. While at The Oklahoman, he was the recipient of several awards, including first place in the editorial writing category of the Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives Carl Rogan Memorial News Excellence Competition for an editorial on the history of racism in the Oklahoma legislature.

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