Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy is leading lawmakers in calling for defunding the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, The Daily Signal has learned.
In a letter sent to the drafters of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2024, lawmakers asked that language be included prohibiting “funding for the Department of Justice to enforce the FACE Act.”
Roy drew on the DOJ arrest of Catholic father and pro-life activist Mark Houck, writing: “Last September, the American people watched in horror as dozens of heavily armed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and more than a dozen vehicles conducted an early-morning raid, with guns drawn, on the home of Mark Houck, his wife, and seven children.”
“Since then, Mark Houck has been found innocent of all charges, but Attorney General Merrick Garland has refused to admit that the overwhelming use of force against an innocent American citizen was a mistake,” Roy wrote.
But this is “far from the only example” of the Biden DOJ targeting American citizens with the FACE Act, the congressman said.
“In 2022, the FACE Act was used more than two dozen times against pro-life activists including Mark Houck, Father Fidelis Moscinski, Lauren Handy, Herb Geraghty, and a Holocaust survivor,” he continued. “Prior to this year, the FACE Act had never been used to indict individuals related to an attack on a pro-life pregnancy center or house of worship.”
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“The Biden Administration has proven time and time again that it cannot be trusted to faithfully implement and enforce the FACE Act, as written by Congress,” Roy wrote. “Until such a time, Congress ought to withhold the use of funds for enforcing this law and seriously consider repealing the statute in its entirety.”
Signers include Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Daniel Webster of Florida, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Harriet Hageman of Wyoming, Eric Burlison of Missouri, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Eli Crane of Arizona, James Moylan of Guam, and Dan Bishop of North Carolina. Pro-life groups, including CatholicVote, Students for Life Action, and Live Action, support the letter.
As Roy noted, the DOJ charged at least 26 pro-life individuals in 2022 with violations of the FACE Act—though the legislation protects both pro-life pregnancy centers and abortion clinics. No far-left attackers were charged with the FACE Act in 2022, and as of Monday, the DOJ has charged only four people with FACE Act violations in 2023 for attacking Florida pro-life pregnancy centers.
At least 83 pro-life groups and 144 churches have been attacked since the May leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion indicating that Roe v. Wade would be overturned, according to Catholic Vote trackers. Vandals often tagged these buildings with threats such as, “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you,” making the attacks incidents of suspected pro-abortion violence that federal authorities have been slow to investigate.
LifeNews Note: Mary Margaret Olohan writes for Daily Signal, where this article originally appeared.