FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL: The Department of Justice must comply with lawmakers’ requests for data on how it is prosecuting Americans under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, Congressman Chip Roy said in a letter sent Friday.

The Texas Republican, who has introduced legislation that would repeal the FACE Act, called on the DOJ in October 2022 to disclose FACE Act prosecution data, but the DOJ did not release this data. During a December hearing, DOJ’s Kristen Clarke told Roy that she would ensure that he received the requested data, and yet the DOJ has still not released the data in question.

Roy, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government, warned that “DOJ’s failure to produce FACE Act prosecution data is particularly troubling in light of the apparent disparity between prosecutions targeting pro-life protestors and pro-abortion attacks on places of worship and pregnancy resource centers.”

“DOJ’s refusal to comply with this request hampers the Committee’s constitutional duty to conduct oversight over the Department and the Civil Rights Division,” he said in the letter, first obtained by The Daily Signal. “DOJ must return to its core mission of protecting all Americans, not simply those that it favors.”

The congressman requests data including how many FACE Act cases the DOJ has brought since the law was enacted in 1994, how many FACE Act cases have been filed due to incidents or attacks at abortion providers, how many FACE Act cases have been filed due to incidents or attacks at pregnancy resource centers and places of religious worship, and any policies or procedures that the DOJ has implemented concerning the filing and prosecution of charges under FACE.

The FACE Act protects not only abortion clinics but also pregnancy centers and houses of worship, but the Biden DOJ has largely used it to prosecute pro-life individuals.

The Center for Investigative Reporting received a list of FACE Act cases filed by DOJ since 1994 in May 2022, Roy said. The congressman’s October 2022 letter requested that same information. Yet the DOJ continues to fail to provide it.

“The Civil Rights Division continues to use the FACE Act to unfairly target pro-life advocates,” Roy wrote. “On January 30, 2024, six pro-life advocates were found guilty of violating the FACE Act and they now face up ten and a half years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $260,000.”

“These prosecutions come after DOJ conducted an aggressive raid on the home of pro-life advocate Mark Houck to arrest him on an overzealous FACE Act charge stemming from Mr. Houck’s earlier encounter with a belligerent abortion activist who attacked his young son,” he added. “A Pennsylvania jury rightly acquitted in January 2023.”

Mark Houck and his wife, Ryan-Marie Houck, told The Daily Signal that they were targeted by the Biden DOJ in an effort to intimidate, silence, and scare the family for their pro-life work—praying outside abortion clinics for the women headed inside to abort their unborn babies. 

In November, the Houck’s sued the Biden administration for “malicious and retaliatory prosecution.”

Since 2022, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division has charged dozens of pro-life individuals with FACE Act violations. In 2023, the DOJ charged four individuals with FACE Act violations related to attacks on pregnancy centers in Florida, though pro-abortion vandals have attacked at least 88 pregnancy centers and 218 churches since the leak of the draft opinion indicating that Roe v. Wade would be overturned, according to CatholicVote.

Clarke has openly supported abortion and condemned pro-life pregnancy centers, which offer aid to women who are pregnant and need help. In the past, Clarke called pro-life pregnancy care centers “predatory” and “fake clinics,” and claimed they are part of a “coordinated strategy to tear down Roe,” as The Washington Free Beacon’s Chuck Ross reported.

Pro-abortion groups described her as “exactly the accomplished civil rights attorney who will bolster civil rights enforcement and ensure equal justice for all,” when President Joe Biden nominated her for the Civil Rights Division position in 2021.

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