WASHINGTON DC- Rep. Claudia L. Tenney, R-22, New Hartford, introduced the Pregnancy Resource Center Defense Act Thursday to strengthen penalties for attacks on pregnancy resource centers and places of worship . She was joined as the original co-sponsor of the legislation by Rep. David McKinley, R-West Virginia, Don Bacon, R-Nebraska, Tracey Mann, R-Kansas and Madison Cawthorn, R-North Carolina. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, introduced the bill in the Senate.
Following the landmark Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, pro-life pregnancy centers and places of worship have been attacked by radical pro-abortion activists, an announcement from Tenney’s office said. At least 50 violent attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers and another 150 attacks on Christian churches have been recorded, according to the announcement, adding that a CompassCare Pregnancy Services in Western New York was set on fire and threatened.
“Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers provide lifesaving care to pregnant women in need,” Tenney said. “Radical pro-abortion terrorists targeted these pregnancy centers and places of worship across the country in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe.”
Tenney’s office said the Pregnancy Resource Center Defense Act would protect pro-life pregnancy centers and places of worship by toughening penalties for abusers and increasing the minimum amount owed to a center or to a religious establishment that is attacked and successfully prosecuted, including:
- Increase the criminal penalties from a misdemeanor to a felony for first offenses and increase the criminal fine from $10,000 to $25,000;
- Ensure that pregnancy resource centers and religious establishments that have successfully sued will receive at least $20,000, an increase of $10,000 from current levels; and
- Impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years when the attacks involve arson.