(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — In a pointed letter sent today to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and his counterparts in 18 other states urged Garland to take swift action in response to recent terrorist acts against anti-abortion organizations, calling the lack of action intolerable, politically motivated and in violation of his oath of office.
Since the early May leak of a U.S. Supreme Court draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the attorneys general write, “charities that support pregnant mothers in need have been firebombed and pro-life organizations have been attacked almost daily and terrorized.”
Although the attacks began last month, it was only last week that the FBI announced that it would investigate them.
Noting that the federal government’s duty to protect its citizens against violence “does not turn on the victim’s identity” and that “access to justice cannot turn on partisan affiliation,” the letter calls on the Department of Justice to vigorously investigate and prosecute these illegal acts.
“Americans shouldn’t fear for their lives for speaking up for what they believe in,” AG Yost said. “The First Amendment provides the right to speak freely, regardless of the topic and without fear of having your home, workplace or, worse, your life threatened.”
The letter urges the Department of Justice to begin its investigations with Jane’s Revenge, a pro-choice group that has declared “open season” on anti-abortion organizations, urging its members “to paint, to burn, to cut, (and) to jam” pro-life centers and advocates. Jane’s Revenge has claimed responsibility for attacks in Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
“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,” the attorneys general write.
Yost and his colleagues even offer state assistance with the investigations.
Differences of opinion are healthy, AG Yost noted, but how we handle such differences is key.
“In America, we solve our differences with debates and ballots, not with bricks and Molotov cocktails.”
Besides Yost, the letter was 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.