NY Governor Was Mum on Pro-Abortion Firebombing. Now She's Calling Pro-Life Activists 'Extremists.'

New York governor Kathy Hochul has directed state to investigate pro-life pregnancy centers

New York governor Kathy Hochul (D.) at a pro-abortion protest / Getty Images
August 19, 2022

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D., N.Y.) has for weeks remained silent about pro-abortion activists firebombing a pro-life pregnancy center in her state. But when pro-life activists allegedly disrupted services at a Brooklyn Planned Parenthood, the Democrat condemned the "intimidation" from "anti-abortion extremists."

"This is a shameful attempt to prevent New Yorkers from exercising their fundamental right to access reproductive care," Hochul tweeted Thursday after New York attorney general Letitia James (D.) announced that pro-life activists harassed employees at a city Planned Parenthood clinic. "They won't win."

That reaction was a stark contrast with her muted response to a June incident in which pro-abortion activists firebombed a Buffalo, N.Y., pregnancy center that does not offer abortion services. The pregnancy center was also vandalized with graffiti that read "Jane was here," a tagline for the extremist pro-abortion group Jane's Revenge, which has vowed to attack similar pregnancy centers across the country. The Democrat has yet to comment on the attack. The governor's office, meanwhile, told a local news outlet that Hochul "condemns violence of any kind."

Hochul's statement comes as Democrats look to crack down on the pregnancy centers following the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Just weeks after the Buffalo attack, Hochul signed a bill into law that directs state authorities to investigate pregnancy centers that do not perform abortions. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has accused the facilities of "torturing" women and said the government should "shut them down all around the country."

Hochul's office did not respond to a request for comment.

New York Democrats have increased efforts to target pro-life activists in recent years. As attorney general, James filed a lawsuit against a Brooklyn pastor, as well as his followers, who protested outside of an abortion clinic in the city. Her office deployed private investigators and hidden cameras to spy on these pro-life activists but later dropped the lawsuit in November. James has a pending lawsuit against pro-life activists who protested at another Planned Parenthood in the state.

The pregnancy center bill Hochul signed directs the state's commissioner of health to investigate pro-life pregnancy centers because they do not provide abortions, including a probe into whether these pregnancy centers provide a "comprehensive range of reproductive and sexual health care services."

Hochul has received $9,750 from Planned Parenthood and its associated PACs between her 2014 campaign for lieutenant governor and her current gubernatorial reelection campaign.

The attack on CompassCare, the pregnancy center in Buffalo, is part of a larger trend of violence against pro-life institutions following the overturn of Roe v. Wade. There have been 93 attacks on pro-life groups since May, according to the Catholic News Agency. A majority of these attacks were against pregnancy centers.

Jim Harden, CEO of CompassCare, said he has received no assistance from his state’s government after the attack on his clinic.

"It appears Governor Hochul and the N.Y. Legislature are only interested in protecting those who agree with them and bullying those who don't," Harden said.