TAMPA — A Florida man and woman accused of vandalizing several anti-abortion reproductive health services facilities are facing federal charges.
A federal grand jury in Tampa returned an indictment last week accusing a 27-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman of spray-painting threatening messages last summer at facilities in Hollywood, Winter Haven and Hialeah. They are charged with conspiring to prevent employees of reproductive health services facilities from providing those services.
Prosecutors said the messages included, “If abortions aren’t safe than niether (sic) are you,” “YOUR TIME IS UP!!,” “WE’RE COMING for U,” and “We are everywhere.”
The first act of vandalism occurred weeks after the May publication of a leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, the 50-year-old court case that prevented federal and state lawmakers from banning abortion. The court eventually overturned the case in June, prompting conservative state lawmakers around the country to enact new abortion bans. Florida had already passed a law earlier last year banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. That law went into effect in July.
If convicted, the man and woman each face up to 12 years in prison. Online court records show that the woman was arrested Monday, and a judge granted her release pending trial on Tuesday. There was no immediate record of the man being arrested.