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U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today called on President Biden to condemn all political violence, including threats against the pro-life community ahead of the anticipated U.S. Supreme Court decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Thune also discussed the important role pregnancy resource centers have in supporting mothers and their babies in communities across the country.
Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, the Dobbs case will be decided by the Supreme Court in a matter of days now.
“I pray that it will be decided in favor of life, and that Roe v. Wade, a case that even pro-abortion constitutional scholars have criticized, will be overturned.
“But however Dobbs is decided, the work of the pro-life movement will continue.
“That work of course includes advocacy – attempts to change laws to ensure that the human rights of unborn human beings are protected.
“But perhaps most of all it includes the daily work of providing help to moms in need.
“Helping moms and their babies is central to the pro-life movement.
“Pregnancy resource centers and other pro-life organizations provide a variety of resources to help women in challenging circumstances.
“They provide supplies for moms and their babies.
“They offer prenatal and parenting classes.
“They assist moms with housing.
“They help them connect with state and local resources.
“They provide friendship and support and a listening ear to moms going through a difficult time.
“They provide agency referrals for mothers who choose to make an adoption plan for their babies.
“They provide places for moms and their babies to live while they complete their education, or get back on their feet.
“During the current formula crisis, pregnancy resource centers have helped moms struggling to find what they need to feed their babies by providing them with free formula.
“Mr. President, you would think that helping out moms would be pretty uncontroversial.
“You would think that everyone, including individuals who are pro-abortion, could get behind helping a struggling mom find housing or access prenatal care.
“But apparently the pro-abortion movement finds providing material help to moms in need – and letting them know that they have alternatives to abortion – to be pretty threatening.
“Pregnancy resource centers have frequently been a target of pro-abortion politicians and the pro-abortion movement, which have sought to undermine their work.
“But things have gotten very serious in recent weeks.
“Since a draft of a possible opinion in the Dobbs case was leaked in May, pro-abortion extremists have conducted a campaign of vandalism and violence against pregnancy resource centers and churches.
“Just a few blocks away from here, one pregnancy resource center was egged and graffitied and had its door covered in red paint.
“A number of others have faced similar vandalism.
“And multiple pregnancy resource centers have been the victim of arson.
“A group claiming responsibility for a number of the attacks, Jane’s Revenge, released a chilling letter last week in which it declared, quote, ‘open season’ on pregnancy centers, and stated, and I quote, ‘We promised to take increasingly drastic measures against oppressive infrastructures. Rest assured that we will, and those measures may not come in the form of something so easily cleaned up as fire and graffiti.’
“Perhaps it is not entirely shocking that some members of the extreme pro-abortion movement have responded to the possibility of Roe’s being overturned with vandalism, arson, and threats of further attacks.
“But this wave of violence is deeply troubling.
“And these attacks need to be taken seriously.
“I hope Attorney General Garland is developing a strategy to confront this wave of vandalism and violence and to prevent future and more serious attacks.
“Earlier this month I joined a number of my Republican colleagues in sending a letter to the attorney general asking about his plans for dealing with these attacks and preventing future ones.
“I am disappointed that we have yet to receive a reply to our letter.
“And the president – not merely his spokesperson, but the president himself – should be out there strongly condemning these attacks and letting everyone know that violent responses to the Dobbs decision will not be tolerated.
“Mr. President, after one pregnancy resource center was vandalized, its director said, ‘We’re not going to let intimidation change what we’re doing. It failed. It was pretty unanimous from the volunteers and staff here, that this is not going to change how we do business here one bit at all.’
“I know that attitude is reflected at other pregnancy resource centers.
“And I know that despite threats of violence, the work of helping moms and their babies will continue.
“Mr. President, the work of the pro-life movement represents the best of our American tradition.
“Providing a voice to the voiceless.
“Standing up for the human rights of those who have been denied them.
“And providing a helping hand to our neighbors in need.
“I am grateful to all the pro-life Americans standing up for the human rights of unborn human beings and helping moms and their babies get the resources they need.
“And win or lose at the Supreme Court, I know that that work will continue.
“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”