In the press release dated January 24, the DOJ announced a federal grand jury has indicted Caleb Freestone, 27, and Amber Smith-Stewart, 23, for spray-painting “Your Time is Up!” and other threatening messages on three pro-life facilities.
Reacting to the indictments, Lynda Bell of Florida Right to Life tells AFN she is extremely grateful for the indictments but she has personally counted nearly 70 incidents of vandalism and fire-bombings against other pro-life centers across the country.
“...Ridiculous attacks on pro-life centers that treat women for free, that help women and young girls,” she says. “And they were just religiously attacked, and it's taken that long to get this kind of reaction.”
Bell's estimate of 70 attacks to date jumps to approximately 200 when churches, mostly Catholic, are added.
AFN reported in a Jan. 20 story that pro-life leaders are skeptical of the FBI and Department of Justice considering the attacks carried out over the summer meet the definition of domestic terrorism. Yet no arrests had been announced. Even when the FBI made the surprise announcement it is offering cash rewards for information about 10 incidents, it was pointed out the Republican-led Congress is expected to grill top Department of Justice officials in coming weeks.
Anne O'Connor, with the National Institute of Family and Life Advocate, tells AFN it sure is strange there have been no arrests made considering many of those attacks were committed seven to eight months ago. She compares that lack of interest with a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic that was attacked in August. That suspect was arrested and charged within four days.
“So we're not sure why it's taken almost a year for justice to happen for pregnancy centers,” she tells AFN. “But we're looking forward to see how the case is handled.”