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Tipsheet

Senator Who Calls Out 'Conservative Extremists' on Abortion Kept Silent as Pregnancy Centers Firebombed

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

On Wednesday, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) published an op-ed for Slate that was truly a stretch when it comes to "The End of Roe and the Threat to Free Speech Online." In it, the senator not only rants about being in favor of pro-abortion policies for "pregnant people," but claims that by the U.S. Supreme Court looking to overturn Roe v. Wade, "it’s bringing to a head the twin crises of digital life: the right to speak without government interference and the right to online privacy."

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In his column, the senator seeks to drive readers into a panic by laying out a three part plan that "[c]onservative extremists" have in mind:

Step one in the extremist playbook is making abortion illegal. Step two is preventing pregnant people or health care providers from discussing it online. It is no accident that Republican politicians’ efforts to outlaw abortion and exert state control over women’s bodies have moved in tandem with their crusade to provide the government with control over what people can say, write, or teach. Conservative extremists want to force everything from websites to news to book apps for children to conform with their 1930s version of cultural norms.

...

Step three in the reactionary playbook is hijacking the digital tools that we depend on in modern life and using them to track down people who get abortions.

By way of offering solutions, Sen. Wyden calls for passing a consumer privacy law, as well as the Fourth Amendment Is Not for Sale Act. 

While he speaks to his bill being bipartisan, Sen. Wyden appears to clearly have a pro-abortion motivation in mind for getting it passed. "Passing our bill would make it harder to buy up big databases of information without warrants and then hunt down anyone seeking an abortion," he says. 

Sure enough, Sen. Wyden then also calls for passing the extreme pro-abortion bill known as the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA) which passed the U.S. House of Representatives last September, but has failed twice in the U.S. Senate. It has been unable to even get a majority, as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME), who do support codifying Roe v. Wade, believe the WHPA goes too far in that it expands the decision. 

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As part of his fear-mongering, Sen. Wyden also raises points that, in reality, are actually easily refutable. 

"When abortion is illegal, researching reproductive health care online, updating a period-tracking app, or bringing a phone to the doctor’s office all could be used to track and prosecute women across the U.S. It amounts to uterus surveillance," he writes, completely failing to address how there is no legislation that seeks to criminalize women for having an abortion. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) doubled down on the position that the pro-life movement does not believe in prosecuting women in a letter last month with over 70 signatories. 

He also closes his piece in part by writing that we are "poised to become one of the only nations on earth to move backwards on women’s rights." What Sen. Wyden fails to point out, though, is that under the strict confines of Roe, the United States is just one of seven nations that allows for elective abortions past 20-weeks. 

Sen. Wyden also writes in his piece that "I’ve been sounding the alarm for years that location data leached from phone apps is ripe for abuse," which is especially the case since the draft opinion was leaked early last month. 

In covering the column for NewsBusters, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg pointed out that such points "are the same points Wyden preached last month for an Aspen Institute Zoom lecture. The points did nothing then and nothing now, except show Wyden’s love for abortion."

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This column is even more absurd considering that at least two pro-life organizations were targeted with violence in Wyden's state of Oregon. In the first instance, which took place early last month, there was a break-in attempt and a small fire at the Oregon Right to Life office in Keizer. Last week, a pregnancy center was also targeted in Gresham

As Andrew Mark Miller covered for Fox News around the time of the first incident, Sens. Wyden and Jeff Merkley, the state's other Democratic senator, as well as Gov. Kate Brown (D-OR), remain silent. 

These are just a couple of many instances of vandalism and violence against pro-lifers occurring across the country, with the group Jane's Revenge, which has taken credit for such crimes, promising to ramp up its attacks. 

Key Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), have refused to condemn the attacks against these pro-life organizations, as Julio covered earlier on Thursday. Earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre similarly refused to condemn the violence. 

While the White House condemned the violence, it was via a statement for The Daily Wire, as Mary Margaret Olohan covered Wednesday night. The president has yet to directly address and condemn such violence and vandalism, just as he has not yet done so when it comes to last Wednesday's murder plot against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Rather statements have come from White House staff, such as Jean-Pierre and White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates

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It does not appear that Slate has covered the violence or vandalism that Jane's Revenge has taken credit for either. 

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