DOJ charges Florida duo with threatening crisis pregnancy centers in wake of Dobbs’ decision to revoke Roe

On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice indicted two Florida residents for attacks on crisis pregnancy resource centers, the first such indictment after the Supreme Court’s draft opinion was leaked. to quash Roe v. Wade.

Caleb Freestone, 27, and Amber Smith-Stewart, 23, allegedly conspired to prevent employees of a reproductive health services center at a clinic in Winter Haven, Florida, from providing services, according to the indictment.

Demonstrators hold a green sign in protest of the overthrow of Roe v. Wade in New York City.
(Peter Gerber/Fox News Digital)

Both suspects are accused of attacking the Winter Haven pregnancy resource center and vandalizing it with spray-painted threats such as, “If abortions aren’t safe, then [sic] it’s you”, “YOUR TIME IS UP!!”, “WE ARE GOING FOR YOU” and “We are everywhere”.

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Winter Haven wasn’t the only clinic Freestone and Smith-Stewart turned to. In fact, the indictment alleges that they also attacked facilities in Hollywood, Florida and Hialeah, Florida.

By spray-painting the threats, Freestone and Smith-Stewart violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, or FACE. President Bill Clinton signed the law into law in 1994 and it prohibits the use of any form of force or intimidation against anyone seeking an abortion, anyone exercising their First Amendment right to religious freedom, or intentionally damaging or destroying a property. reproductive health center or a place of worship.

A group of anti-abortion protesters break into the Women's March for Reproductive Rights Action Rally at Mariachi Plaza in Los Angeles, California on October 8, 2022.

A group of anti-abortion protesters break into the Women’s March for Reproductive Rights Action Rally at Mariachi Plaza in Los Angeles, California on October 8, 2022.
(DAVID MCNEW / AFP) (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)

Freestone and Smith-Stewart allegedly used threats of force to intimidate and interfere with employees at a reproductive health services facility in Winter Haven on the grounds that they were providing those services.

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The duo also allegedly violated the FACE Act by damaging the facility with spray-painted threats because the facility provides reproductive health services.

Both Freestone and Smith-Stewart face up to 12 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fines of up to $350,000 if convicted.

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Multiple parties are involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case, including the FBI Tampa Field Office, the Miami Police Department, Assistant US Attorney Lisa Thelwell, and Trial Attorneys Sanjay Patel and Laura-Kate Bernstein of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division.

The Justice Department has come under fire for the arrests of pro-life activists last year, following a series of unresolved attacks on crisis pregnancy centers.

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