EXCLUSIVE: Call for Prayer Vigil around Pro-Life Centers on Election Night
After multiple federal intelligence agencies warned of a “heightened threat” of violent attacks against people involved in abortion or family issues, the CEO of a firebombed pregnancy center is asking Christians to hold a prayerful vigil outside pro-life institutions on election night and the next evening.
In an October 28 memo, the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, National Counterterrorism Center, and U.S. Capitol stated that domestic violent extremists show an increase likelihood of targeting their “ideological opponents.” Extremists have already “levied violent threats targeting elected officials, individuals associated with abortion or LGBTQ+ issues, and facilities, locations, and organizations perceived as taking a stance on abortion or LGBTQ+ issues.”
That has pro-life leaders bracing after their months-long, unpunished spate of arson, vandalism, and acts of domestic terrorism. Rev. Jim Harden, whose CompassCare facility in Buffalo suffered firebombing from the group Jane’s Revenge this summer, told The Washington Stand exclusively he’s asking “pro-life people in their communities to identify where their local pregnancy centers are and show up there on November 8 and 9 in the evenings. We’re encouraging pregnancy center executives to promote it to their networks and their churches.”
November 8 will give pro-life believers a literal opportunity to pray, vote, and stand. “In light of the lack of arrests in the wake of nationwide violence and death threats leveled against peaceful pro-life pregnancy centers by pro-abortion extremist cells, I am issuing a call for volunteer peacekeepers to keep vigil,” Harden said. “The prayerful presence of a group of people with cameras, taking video and pictures of all suspicious activity, will serve to both protect a valuable community service to women in crisis as well as aid in the capture of radicalized pro-abortion extremists.”
He specifically wanted believers “to pray for the salvation of the attackers, the perpetrators — these people who are blinded and going about deceiving about what it means to be a human, and being deceived,” Harden told TWS. “We want peace. We want to be able to continue to serve women. And we want the nation to return to civilized order.”
The call for a peaceful, prayerful presence comes as a recent study found pro-life churches, pregnancy resource centers, and right-to-life organizations were 22 times more likely to be attacked than abortion facilities. Researchers at the Crime Prevention Research Center documented 135 such actions against pro-life advocates between May 2 and September 24, compared to six for abortion facilities.
Yet the legacy media have largely amplified a purported threat to the abortion industry and its supporters. In June, after weeks of attacks on pro-life advocates, the Associated Press ran a story saying abortionists stood on “heightened alert” — the same language adopted by the Biden administration’s DHS. Days later, Time magazine warned that “Armed and Extremist Groups are Frequenting Abortion Protests.” The feminist magazine Elle asked in May, “Who Will Protect Abortion Providers?” While the attacks the media predicted against abortionists largely proved mythical, flames and broken glass dotted pro-life women’s centers nationwide.
The election night vigil also reflects Harden’s belief that ultimately, Christian citizenship is intimately tied up with ending vandalism and arson against pro-life organizations. “This secular barbarism we’re living through right now is all based on the fact that we’ve devalued human life for so long,” Harden told TWS. “Somehow, we’ve gotten to the point where we can justify violence against our neighbor if they don’t agree with our opinions.”
“My hope is that this midterm election will be a representation of that kind of moral imperative: That we the people want a return to a civil society, and hopefully their vote will demonstrate that by changing the power structure and giving pro-life representatives majority control of the Senate and the House,” he continued.
After the Dobbs decision, Democratic candidates wagered campaigning on abortion would save their already-dimmed prospects of holding their congressional majority. But candidates in swing states from Arizona to Georgia campaigned against any limits on unrestricted, taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand, with dismal results. Polls seem to show voters poised to reject abortion absolutism, with Republican candidates pulling ahead in tight races in swing states. FiveThirtyEight estimates the GOP has an 85% chance of winning the majority in the House and a 55% chance of taking a majority of seats in the Senate. Fox News forecasts Republicans will win 238 House seats and 52 in the Senate.
Whatever the election outcome, the threat of continued violence against those who defend the right to life will not end in one election cycle, Harden said, because no vote can erase the darkness inside the human heart.
“If the midterms go in the direction of a pro-life majority in the House and the Senate, we are concerned that violence will continue, because it will create frustration” among abortion activists, whose views are shared by a tiny slither of the electorate. “However, I am concerned that if it goes in the other direction — that if pro-abortion politicians who control the Democratic Party maintain control — the collusion, conspiracy, and politicization of law enforcement will also increase and intensify,” Harden said.
“Either way, the pro-life community is not out of the woods. People should not rest on their laurels after the election is over,” concluded Harden. “This is the time for the community to step in, not step away” from protecting life and family — beginning next Tuesday night, after they vote.
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.