Rep. Chip Roy fights to repeal the FACE Act
Representative Chip Roy (R-TX-21) introduced legislation to repeal the unconstitutional and weaponized Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act; Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) will lead companion legislation in the Senate.
The FACE Act is a federal law designed to protect access to abortion facilities. However, President Biden’s weaponized Department of Justice has used the FACE Act to legally harass peaceful pro-life activists while simultaneously stonewalling good faith efforts by members of Congress to conduct even elementary oversight of the law.
Representative Roy said: “Free Americans should never live in fear of their government targeting them because of their beliefs. Yet, Biden's Department of Justice has brazenly weaponized the FACE Act against normal, everyday Americans across the political spectrum, simply because they are pro-life.
Our Constitution separates power between the federal government and the states for a reason, and we ignore that safeguard at our own peril.
The FACE Act is an unconstitutional federal takeover of state police powers; it must be repealed.”
“The Constitution reserves general police power to the states, which Congress infringed upon when it passed the FACE Act,”said Senator Lee. “Joe Biden’s DOJ has weaponized this constitutionally dubious law against pro-life sidewalk counselors while failing to protect pregnancy centers and churches from arson, vandalism, and violence. It’s time to repeal the FACE Act once and for all.”
“The FACE Act prescribes harsh, mean-spirited punishments when pro-life individuals engage in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience—the staple of the human rights and civil rights movements,”said Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ-4), Co-Chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. “Under the FACE Act, peaceful actions like holding a sign, singing a hymn, or praying the Rosary, if conducted near an abortion mill, can result in jail sentences, massive fines and punitive damages by the party that feels it has been offended.”
Representative Smith concluded, “The Biden Administration has weaponized the FACE Act, singling out nonviolent pro-life advocates and punishing them as felons. At the same time, there has been no documented arrest in over 80 instances of violent attacks, firebombing and vandalism by pro-abortion activists in a coordinated effort to intimidate front-line volunteers and licensed medical professionals providing critical support to mothers in need and their unborn baby boys and girls.”
Last year, the FACE Act made national news when pro-life activist Mark Houck was arrested by dozens of FBI agents citing the FACE Act in relation to a pushing incident outside of an abortion facility. After deliberating for less than an hour, a jury would later find Mr. Houck innocent. Most recently, several members of the left-wing organization Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising were found guilty of violating FACE following a peaceful protest at a Washington D.C. abortion provider.
Co-sponsors of the legislation include Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ-4), Bob Good (R-VA-5), Andrew Clyde (R-GA-9), Jim Banks (R-IN-3), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-1), Mary Miller (R-IL-15), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-1), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-8), Brian Babin (R-TX-36), Andy Biggs (R-AZ-5), James Moylan (R-GU-AL), Ken Buck (R-CO-4), Warren Davidson (R-OH-8), Alex Mooney (R-WV-2), Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL-13), Paul Gosar (R-AZ-9), Matt Rosendale (R-MT-2), Josh Brecheen (R-OK-2), Barry Moore (R-AL-2), Keith Self (R-TX-3), Eric Burlison (R-MO-7), Doug Lamborn (R-CO-5), Mark Green (R-TN-7), William Timmons (R-SC-4) and Jeff Duncan (R-SC-3).
Supporting organizations include Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, Thomas More Society, Family Research Council, Students for Life Action, Catholic Vote, Live Action and Citizens for Renewing America.
Prior to this year, the FACE Act had never been used to indict individuals related to an attack on a pro-life pregnancy center. It has still never been used by the federal government to protect a house of worship.
Since the Dobbs decision was leaked in May of 2020, at least 357 Catholic Churches have been attacked. The Biden Administration has opened 0 FACE Act cases in response.
Congress originally claimed that the Commerce Clause and 14th Amendment Due Process Clause granted it the power to enact the FACE Act. The Constitution does not grant the federal government general police power. In Dobbs, the Supreme Court found that abortion is not a constitutional right. Pro-life “protest” and sidewalk counseling are not commercial activities.
More support for this legislation:
“The Biden administration has taken weaponization of government to a new level - his weapon of choice against pro-lifers has been the FACE Act, which has been mainly used to target peaceful prolife activists who stand up for the unborn. Rep. Roy and Sen. Lee are right to take this weapon away from Joe Biden and restore the First Amendment right to peacefully protest."
- Tom McClusky, Director of Government Affairs for CatholicVote
“Instead of investigating abortionist Cesare Santangelo for the brutal death of five fully developed babies found in a box headed for medical waste, President Biden’s Department of Justice has used their power under the FACE Act to prosecute peaceful pro-life protesters. While they face up to eleven years in federal prison, abortion providers profit from performing painful no-limits abortions. The time has come to repeal the FACE Act, and we commend Representative Chip Roy and Senator Mike Lee for their work on this bill.”
- Honorable Marilyn Musgrave, Vice President of Government Affairs for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America
“It’s clear that the Biden Administration has used the FACE Act as a tool for aggressive pro-abortion partisans to take cases of alleged crimes, federalize them, and add the full weight of the government’s support for abortion to the ire against individuals. SFLAction is calling for repeal of the FACE Act and fully supports Rep. Chip Roy's FACE Act Repeal Act of 2023, as it is a long overdue course correction needed to reign in a weaponized Department of Justice.”
- Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America and Students for Life Action
“This egregious abuse of government power must stop. The FACE Act has been weaponized by this administration. Even if enforced honestly, the FACE Act is unconstitutional. If our constitutional system of separation of powers and the ideal of citizen self-government are to be preserved, the FACE Act must be repealed.”
- Andrew Bath, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Thomas More Society