". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Are Pro-Abortion Activists Drawing ‘Twisted Inspiration’ from the Biden Administration?

April 15, 2024

Last Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned the greatest threat is an imminent attack akin to the Islamist assault killing 145 civilians in Moscow. “Our most immediate concern has been that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home,” Wray told the House Appropriations Subcommittee. But scenes from two courtrooms prove the Biden administration lets pro-abortion activist-criminals who target pro-life Christians off easy — while prosecuting peaceful pro-life advocates to the full extent of the law.

The first scene played out in Wisconsin on Wednesday, April 10, where a left-wing ideologue received about half of the requested sentence after firebombing a pro-life women’s center. His guilt was never in doubt. The bomber — Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury — confessed last December 1 to the May 8, 2022, firebombing of Wisconsin Family Action in the liberal bastion of Madison. The sentence of 7.5 years in prison handed down last week by United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin William Conley, an Obama appointee, skewed closer to the federal minimum of five years than the maximum of 20 years provided under 18 U.S. Code § 844(i).

“We recommended the defendant receive 15 years imprisonment. … The U.S. Attorney’s office had also recommended 12-15 years imprisonment,” said Julaine Appling, president emeritus of Wisconsin Family Action. “We are disappointed in the judge’s decision regarding a crime the judge called ‘terrorism’ multiple times.”

The organization’s current president, Christine File, admitted she was “disappointed” at the sentence and the sympathy lavished upon the offender. “It is notable that nearly 60 people filled the courtroom to support this person who committed a violent, unprovoked, and hate-filled crime,” said File. “But perhaps most concerning, in the two years since the attack the defendant did not at any point express remorse to the people he targeted and harmed — until the judge asked him. We would’ve expected the court to have weighed this callousness towards us more significantly.”

The assault should have drawn harsher penalties as one of the first of the 105 documented attacks on pregnancy resource centers and pro-life churches after the leak of the Supreme Court ruling in the Dobbs case. The message Roychowdhury spray-painted on his target, in challenged script and grammar, could have served as the official motto of that wave of anti-life domestic terrorism: “if abortions aren’t Safe then you aren’t either.”

“This judicial disparity hauntingly reinforces Jane’s Revenge’s clear warning, it’s ‘open season’ on pro-lifers,” said Rev. Jim Harden, CEO of CompassCare. No one has been arrested for firebombing a Buffalo-area CompassCare pregnancy resource center. 

The Wisconsin “sentencing would lead the public to believe this is a simple case of misguided arson instead of a political act representing a multi-national Marxist revolution. Roychowdhury’s apology letter reads like an Antifa manifesto,” Rev. Harden continued. “Once the dust settles after the 2024 election, his comrades will likely demand his release as a political prisoner so he can write what he deemed an ‘academically rigorous autoethnography.’”

The second scene took place in Ohio last Friday, a week after thousands of visitors flooded the region that lay in the solar eclipse’s “Zone of Totality.” Darkness prevailed over light in the courtroom, as well. Last April 15, Whitney M. Durant, 20, of the Columbus suburb of Worthington, scrawled “abort God” on the HerChoice pro-life women’s center of Bowling Green in northwestern Ohio. She also wrote “Jane’s Revenge,” “fake clinic,” “liars,” and “fund abortion.” Durant — a transgender-identified socialist activist who goes by the name “Soren Monroe” — was caught on surveillance footage wearing a surgical mask and a hat vandalizing the facility at 3:26 a.m. She later posted a social media video praising the attack, which no one knew she had perpetrated. After public outrage that the Biden administration had not fulfilled its legal obligation to protect all Americans, the DOJ prosecuted Durant under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.

The Biden administration’s Justice Department announced on April 12, that Magistrate Judge Darrell A. Clay sentenced Durant/“Monroe” to two years’ probation and a $2,000 fine. But the radical activist, who faced a year in jail, reportedly had a history of violet outbursts toward pro-life advocates. Falcons for Life President Morgan Reece revealed that Durant/Monroe barged into a pro-life display at Bowling Green State University and repeatedly beat her fists on the table while screaming that pro-life students were “racists” and “fascists.”

U.S. Attorney Rebecca C. Lutzko for the Northern District of Ohio said the sentence proves the “United States Attorney’s Office is committed to neutrally enforcing federal laws that protect uninterrupted access to all clinics providing reproductive health services, whether those clinics provide women with options that include abortion care or whether they solely encourage women to consider non-abortion alternatives.”

But the Biden administration’s record on FACE Act prosecutions calls that into question. Consider the prosecution of pro-life protesters who peacefully prayed while temporarily preventing abortion-minded women from entering an abortion facility. For singing hymns, six of the pro-life advocates could face a maximum of 10.5 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of $260,000. Earlier this month four more pro-life advocates — Eva Edl, Eva Zastrow, James Zastrow, and Paul Place — learned they could face up to six months in prison, five years of supervised released, and fines of up to $10,000 each during their sentencing hearing scheduled for July 30.

Whom did they firebomb? Who did they look in the eye and say, “You are not safe?” What did they threaten, except the abortionist’s daily paycheck? Why should they face sentences stiffer than someone who bombed a pro-life center that distributes diapers and formula?

True, their nonviolent action constituted an act of civil disobedience and, like the 1960s civil rights protesters, pro-life advocates came prepared to pay a price. But justice demands that the punishment fit the crime. These tales of injustice show justice has not been done, in either case.

The contrast is sharper yet, considering the Biden administration is going soft on domestic terrorism that may have drawn “twisted inspiration” from its own pro-violent messaging. As a presidential candidate, Kamala Harris gushed that the wave of “fiery but mostly peaceful” Black Lives Matter protests — which claimed multiple lives and did billions of dollars in property damage — were “not going to stop. …They’re not going to let up. And they should not.” Despite these words of incitement, Joe Biden chose Harris as his running mate. She has since become his spokeswoman on abortion, where her silence on attacks against pro-life centers has proven deafening.

Instead, the Biden administration launched a concerted effort to prosecute pro-lifers in July 2022. The DOJ’s Reproductive Rights Task Force (RRTF), led by Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, boasted last December that it had won 23 of the 24 cases it has prosecuted under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, involving 55 defendants. Virtually all its targets have been pro-life — and the treatment received by its few abortion activists hardly compares.

“The dearth of arrests and investigations of violent pro-abortion terror compared to the crushing DOJ/FBI persecution of peaceful pro-lifers during the exact same time-frame, is difficult to interpret as anything other than the politicization of federal law enforcement and a conspiracy to deprive pro-life Christians of their right to express the truth that all people, born and preborn, are made in the image of God, deserving of equal protection under the law,” said Rev. Harden.

Thankfully, some lawmakers have signaled their intention to overturn this unjust targeting if they return to power. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) has introduced legislation to repeal the FACE Act altogether. Former President Donald Trump, speaking at the 2023 Pray Vote Stand Summit last September, promised to “appoint a special taskforce to rapidly review the cases” of pro-life advocates jailed by the Biden administration, and to “sign their pardons or commutations on day one.”

Until then, pro-life advocates can take solace in the truth of their faith, knowing they are “persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (II Corinthians 4:9).

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.