Stein issues response to calls from congressional members to protect Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Stein’s response doesn’t indicate action regarding attack on Mountain Area Pregnancy Services

Attorney General Josh Stein briefs media from the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. Photo via N.C. Dept. of Public Safety

RALEIGH — North Carolina Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein has responded to a letter from congressional members concerning the security and safety of Crisis Pregnancy Centers in the state. 

On July 29, Republican U.S. Sen Thom Tillis and U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (NC-13) sent a letter to Stein urging him to use the Freedom of Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act of 1994 to protect Crisis Pregnancy Centers in North Carolina. 

Also signing onto the letter were U.S. Reps. Dan Bishop (NC-09), Richard Hudson (NC-08), and Greg Murphy (NC-03). 

The letter to Stein cited the attack on the Mountain Area Pregnancy Services in Asheville following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision returning abortion decisions to the states. The facility had been vandalized with red graffiti by the attackers that read “if abortions aren’t safe neither are you!” 

The lawmakers asked for an update from Stein by Aug. 15, however, he responded two days later in a letter issued on Aug. 17.  

In his response, Stein acknowledged receipt of the July 29 letter and said that “As our state’s Attorney General, my top priority is to protect the people of North Carolina.” 

Stein continued, “That includes protecting them from violence, combatting the opioid epidemic, protecting kids from sexual abuse, delivering justice for survivors of sexual assault by testing old rape kits, and protecting people’s freedoms, including women’s reproductive freedoms, and more.” 

“I welcome federal support and partnership on these all-too-real issues that impact North Carolinians daily lives,” Stein wrote.  

Stein then seemed to dodge addressing the attack perpetrated on the Mountain Area Pregnancy Services, writing that “If you are aware of anyone engaging in violence against people exercising their rights, whether at a pregnancy crisis center or an abortion clinic, I urge you to notify local law
enforcement and district attorneys would have authority over any criminal charges related to
public safety.”  

“Of course, any North Carolinian who fears for their safety should contact local
law enforcement immediately,” Stein added. 

“I believe that all North Carolinians, no matter their political views, should feel safe in the
communities they call home, and I will continue to do everything in my power to protect the
people of this state,” wrote Stein in closing. 

Budd reacted to Stein’s response in an emailed statement to North State Journal.  

“Attorney General Stein refuses to acknowledge that he currently has unique authority to pursue justice against those who threaten crisis pregnancy centers,” Budd told North State Journal. “His office, as well as the federal Department of Justice, can and should do much more to protect these centers in the wake of renewed threats of violence and vandalism.” 

About A.P. Dillon 752 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_