Biggs, Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene want to designate abortion-rights groups as terrorists

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., speaks during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to examine a Republican-led Arizona audit of the 2020 presidential election results in Arizona's most populous county, Maricopa, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 7, 2021.
Gregory Svirnovskiy
Arizona Republic

Ruth Sent Us, a loose coalition of pro-abortion rights activists and volunteers, has gathered its forces near the homes of the six conservative Supreme Court justices ever since the draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked in May.

The protesters work on a schedule. On Mondays, they march through Samuel Alito’s neighborhood. On Wednesdays, they protest in the roads that surround the homes of Brett Kavanaugh and John Roberts, who live within a half mile of each other. Thursdays, they head to Amy Coney Barrett’s street. And on Fridays and Saturdays respectively, they march close to the homes of Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.

They are often clad in red cloaks and white bonnets, an ode to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, "The Handmaid’s Tale." The demonstrations are always peaceful; protesters sings songs and chant, standing or marching right next to the U.S. marshals and local police officers who have been sent to protect the manicured lawns and affluent neighborhoods of the country’s Supreme Court.

“Hey hey, ho ho, the Christo-fascists got to go," they chant. “We are not your incubator!”

No accusations of violence have ever been lodged against the activists. Launched in October 2020 after the death of namesake Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the late liberal former justice, the group is classified by Influence Watch as a pro-abortion rights protest group. 

On Monday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., considered one of the most-extreme Republicans on Capitol Hill, filed a resolution to designate two leftist activist groups, Ruth Sent Us and Jane's Revenge, as terrorist organizations.

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar

Jane’s Revenge is a shadowy group that made its first foray into the public consciousness in May. In a tweet announcing her measure, Greene listed Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, both Arizona Republicans, as co-sponsors. Like Greene, Biggs and Gosar are allies of former President Donald Trump and supporters of his MAGA agenda and baseless claims about the 2020 election. Biggs and Gosar's actions in the run-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot also have remained under scrutiny.

Greene's resolution comes after the Supreme Court's official reversal of the 1973 Roe decision, a ruling that was made public Friday that has inflamed the left and motivated many onto the streets in downtowns and near state capitols.

The Protecting Mothers and Babies From Terrorism Act stands an almost zero chance of passing in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

But Barbara Norrander, American politics professor at the University of Arizona, said that isn't necessarily what Greene is looking for.

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"Many times, members introduce bills not because they expect that they will become law but as a means to express their opinions, gain media attention or demonstrate their connection to interest groups or groups of voters," Norrander said.

In the previous congressional session, the resolution's number 8196 was used in a House resolution titled the Protect Black Women and Girls Act. Ruth Sent Us organizers have accused Greene of trolling them and their cause. 

In a video accompanying Greene's tweet, newscasters are shown detailing acts of vandalism at the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center in Lynchburg, Va. Protesters had broken windows and spray-painted on the walls. Another clip showed a different pregnancy center also covered in spray-paint. The message “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either” was emblazoned on its walls.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) gives a speech to the crowd during the second day of AmericaFest 2021 hosted by Turning Point USA on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Phoenix.

“No woman should ever feel fear to bring their child into the world,” Greene said. “These radical pro-abortion groups must be stopped.” 

Gosar echoed Greene’s statement on both leftist groups in his weekly newsletter published on Sunday, June 26.

"As amazing and historic this week has been, across the country leftist domestic terrorists and extremists are calling for nights of rage and rioting in the streets to protest (the) Supreme Court's decision. Democratic members of congress have joined the protests and are encouraging violence and telling people 'to fight,'" Gosar wrote. "The conduct of pro-abortion extremist groups, including Jane's Revenge and Ruth Sent Us is nothing short of domestic terrorism."

Biggs' office did not comment. Organizers from Ruth Sent Us did not comment on the record, but on Twitter Wednesday organizers continued to deny any accusations of doxxing, or revealing personal information such as home addresses of the justices.

In May, Jane’s Revenge claimed responsibility for starting a fire at a crisis pregnancy center in Madison, Wis., which resulted in minor property damage. Members of the group have vandalized pregnancy crisis centers in Iowa, Washington, Florida and New York, among others. Little is known about the group, but it claimed in a written statement dating back to May to be composed of activists "in every city." 

In a controversial move, Meta on June 25 designated Jane's Revenge as a terrorist organization, subjecting supporters to the same speech restrictions as those applied to proponents of "the Islamic State and Hitler," The Intercept reported Tuesday.

Meta has not taken similar action against the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, right-wing groups that helped organize the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Ford Fischer, a documentarian and journalist who frequently covers Ruth Sent Us protests, said Greene's bill inaccurately conflates RSU with Jane's Revenge even though their goals and methods differ radically. Fischer said he hasn't seen a single instance of a protester physically confronting a neighborhood resident or any member of law enforcement.

"Reading about it, (Jane's Revenge) is a branding that very specifically endorses and takes credits for acts like arson and vandalism and so forth," he said. "Ruth Sent Us is an organization that I've covered in person on many occasions now since the decision was leaked. They don't post the addresses of justices. They're protesting in the neighborhood, so they end up marching back and forth."