For Immediate Release: 3.30.23
Contact: Peyton Luke, firstname.lastname@example.org
First Liberty Institute Files Lawsuit Against Jane’s Revenge
Lawsuit seeks penalties under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances, conspiracy, and racketeering laws against vandals of Florida pregnancy resource center.
Tampa, FL—Attorneys with First Liberty Institute and Lawson Huck Gonzalez, PLLC filed suit Wednesday against Jane’s Revenge and their associated vandals who sought to injure, intimidate, and interfere with access to several Florida pregnancy resource centers, including Heartbeat of Miami. The lawsuit joins a lawsuit also filed Wednesday by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody seeking to assess $170,000 in penalties against each defendant who allegedly vandalized three Florida pregnancy resource centers following the release of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
A copy of the First Liberty’s complaint is available here.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Antifa and Jane’s Revenge are criminal organizations and must answer for their crimes in Florida. I am taking action to hold their members accountable for attempting to intimidate and threaten law-abiding citizens in our state.”
“Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is leading the effort to protect all faith-based pregnancy care centers across the country,” said Kelly Shackelford, President, CEO, & Chief Counsel of First Liberty. “The rule of law compels this lawsuit. If you use violence as a means to advance your disagreement, you will be held accountable by the law.”
“Those who target life-affirming reproductive health facilities must face the legal penalties Congress established for their crimes,” said First Liberty Senior Counsel, Jeremy Dys. “No one should suffer violence for simply providing faith-based counseling and baby supplies to women and their babies. Violence is never a lawful response to disagreement.”
Following last year’s leak of the Dobbs decision, vandals associated with Jane’s Revenge began attacking faith-based pregnancy resource centers across the nation. Vandals spray painted threatening messages like “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you,” fire-bombed life-affirming reproductive health facilities, broke windows, doxxed the staff, board, and volunteers of pregnancy resource centers, and disrupted private events with supporters in an effort to intimidate those centers, injure their facilities, and interfere with clients seeking to access their free services.
Heartbeat of Miami (“Heartbeat”) is a religious ministry providing life-affirming reproductive health services to women and couples facing unplanned pregnancies in Hialeah, Florida. First Liberty’s lawsuit, filed on behalf of Heartbeat, alleges that Caleb Freestone and Amber Marie Smith-Stewart, as representatives of Jane’s Revenge, vandalized Heartbeat’s clinic with spray painted threats on July 3, 2022. Annarella Rivera then joined Caleb Freestone on September 17, 2022 to hack their way onto Heartbeat’s guest list, giving them access into Heartbeat’s annual gala where they shouted obscenities, disparaged Heartbeat’s staff, volunteers, and supporters, and leafletted the venue with propaganda hoping to dissuade women from using Heartbeat’s services. On January 18, 2023, a federal grand jury issued a criminal indictment against Freestone and Smith-Stewart.
Under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (“FACE”) Act, Attorney General Moody seeks to recover civil penalties against the named defendants to protect the public interest in a woman’s freedom to seek pregnancy-related services. Similarly, attorneys with First Liberty, on behalf of their client, seek to recover penalties imposed by the FACE Act, and other legal theories, for the defendants’ attempts to injure, intimidate, or interfere with life-affirming reproductive health facilities.
About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.
To arrange an interview, contact Peyton Luke at email@example.com or by calling 972-941-4454.