Tenney seeks stiffer criminal penalties for people targeting pro-life pregnancy centers

Posted 23 March 2023 at 12:55 pm

Press Release, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney   

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) today reintroduced The Pregnancy Resource Center Defense Act in the 118th Congress.

This legislation will help protect pro-life pregnancy centers from attacks by radical activists and ensure attackers are held accountable for their violent actions.

Following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision last year, pro-life pregnancy centers nationwide have become victims of violent attacks from radical pro-abortion extremist groups, such as “Jane’s Revenge.” CompassCare Pregnancy Services, a pro-life pregnancy center in Amherst, was firebombed in June of last year by the group. Just last week, the facility was criminally vandalized once again.

“Pregnancy resource centers across the country are continuing to be attacked and vandalized by radical pro-abortion extremist groups,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “The recent vandalization of CompassCare and increased attacks on pro-life facilities are simply reprehensible. The perpetrators of these attacks must be found and prosecuted. It is my honor to reintroduce The Pregnancy Resource Center Defense Act on behalf of women and families everywhere who visit centers like CompassCare to receive compassionate and professional care and support. This bill works to hold these criminals responsible for their acts of violence. House Republicans remain committed to protecting and preserving the right to life for all.”

The Pregnancy Resource Center Defense Act increases penalties for attacks against abortion-alternative providers and places of religious worship by:

  • Increasing criminal penalties from a misdemeanor to a felony for first-time offenses and increasing the criminal fine from $10,000 to $25,000;
  • Guaranteeing that pregnancy resource centers and religious facilities that successfully sue will receive no less than $20,000, a $10,000 increase from current levels; and
  • Imposing a 7-year mandatory minimum when attacks involve arson, an increase from the current 5-year mandatory minimum.

Tenney also cosponsored The Pregnancy Center Security Act this week. This bill complements The Pregnancy Resource Center Defense Act by establishing a grant program for pregnancy-help organizations to implement security upgrades, including the installation of security cameras and systems, and update facilities for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.