The United States Department of Justice is taking a closer look at the escalating violence and incendiary language used by individuals who are part of the “anti-choice” movement that target women seeking abortion services. In recent weeks, there have been reports of vandalism of clinics, death threats against clinic staff and protestors gathering outside clinics in intimidating numbers. Agency officials are targeting those who are intimidating or using force to prevent individuals from accessing health care services, including abortion clinics. This was made public in a statement released by the Justice Department earlier this week. The statement read in part, “The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the constitutional right of all individuals to access reproductive health care…We will not hesitate to enforce federal law against those who engage in illegal conduct and attempt to intimidate or interfere with an individual’s right to make personal health care decisions.” The statement comes on the heels of the Supreme Court ruling concerning a Mississippi law that maliciously targeted abortion clinics. This ruling has reignited the contraceptive debate on the national stage, with both sides firmly entrenched in their respective positions and unwilling to concede. The FBI has also set up a task force to comb through information gathered from social media, the National Abortion Federation (NAF), and other sources in order to intervene any expansion of violence or disruption of abortion services. The NAF recently released a statement that reads, “Our allies in the Department of Justice have been particularly receptive to our requests. We are hearing more and more from Americans of all faiths and political affiliations who are concerned about the possibility of violence and supporting our fight against intimidation and fear-mongering by anti-abortion activists.” The conflict between those who wish to ban abortion and those who support it has been an ongoing battle since the passage of Roe v Wade in 1973. The current surge of anti-abortion violence and speech, spurred on by the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, is drawing more attention to the need for protections for individuals seeking abortions and the survivors of sexual assault who may decide to terminate a pregnancy. The Justice Department’s action serves to further bolster the protection of individuals and health care providers by focussing on punishing violence and intimidation. In this way, efforts to end the divisive and sensitive abortion debate can be peaceful ones. Now, more than ever, it’s important to recognize the difference between peaceful protest and the use of physical force or hateful language to disrupt individuals’ rights to health care services. The Justice Department’s actions against those who use criminal tactics in their anti-abortion activism is a much-needed step in the right direction.