Another lawsuit, from the First Liberty Institute legal group, was filed on behalf of Heartbeat of Miami pregnancy center in Hialeah against Freestone, Smith-Stewart, and a third defendant, Annarella Rivera.
It alleges that in addition to the defacing and spray-painting of Heartbeat’s property, the defendants hacked the guest list for the pro-life group’s annual gala so they could attend and disrupt it. At the gala, they shouted obscenities, disparaged staff, volunteers, and supporters, and leafletted the venue.
“If you’re going to pick up a brick or a can of spray paint to express your disagreement, then you need to be prepared to bear the consequences,” Jeremy Dys, special counsel for litigation and communications at First Liberty Institute, told The Daily Signal in a podcast published April 11.
According to Dys, the legal action is an opportunity to investigate the nature of Jane’s Revenge and its supporters.
“We’re going to find out if Jane’s Revenge is nothing more than a paper tiger spray-painted on the walls across the country or if they are an actual network of underground criminals seeking to injure or intimidate or interfere with access to life-affirming reproductive health care facilities,” he said.
Lawsuits against vandals in other states could be forthcoming as their identities become known, Dys said.
There are four named defendants in incidents targeting pro-life pregnancy centers in Florida.
A March 22 indictment alleges that Gabriella Oropesa and Rivera, along with Freestone and Smith-Stewart, spray-painted threats on the Archdiocese of Miami’s Hollywood pregnancy center. The threats included the message, “If abortions aren’t safe then niether [sic] are you.”
The indictment also alleges that Rivera, Freestone, Smith-Stewart, and “conspirators” vandalized the LifeChoice center in Winter Haven. The indictment further alleges that Freestone, Oropesa, and “conspirators” spray-painted “If abortions aren’t safe the [sic] neither are you” on the Heartbeat of Miami clinic in Hialeah.
Additionally, all four defendants face charges of engaging in a “conspiracy against rights” for attempting to prevent employees at pro-life pregnancy centers from providing services, the indictment says.
Last month, law enforcement officials arrested Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury, 29, in Boston in connection with the May 8, 2022, firebombing of Wisconsin Family Action’s Madison office. Roychowdhury, an engineer at a Madison biotech company, holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
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The building of the pro-life organization, which was attacked on Mother’s Day, was spray-painted with the words “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.”
A purported communique from “Jane’s Revenge,” dated May 8, 2022, and shared online, depicted the attack as “only a warning” and demanded “the disbanding of all anti-choice establishments, fake clinics, and violent anti-choice groups within the next thirty days.”
“We are not one group, but many,” the message claimed. However, another message shared later that month claimed the movement will be “unsustainable” if it continues to rely on “the same few hundred people.”
To date, 34 Catholic churches, 60 pregnancy centers, one maternity home, three political organizations, six billboards, one political figure, and one memorial have been targeted in pro-abortion attacks following the Supreme Court leak in May 2022.