A woman in St. Louis has pleaded guilty to federal charges that she threatened to “blow up” an area Planned Parenthood facility.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, 47-year-old Maria Terry pleaded guilty to violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, as well as transmitting a threatening communication over the internet.
Terry, last November, posted a message on Twitter directed at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund threatening to “blow up” their facility. In pleading guilty, Terry admitted that she sent the message and that it was intended as a threat. She also admitted that she “intended to intimidate or interfere with persons seeking access to, or providing, reproductive health services through Planned Parenthood.”
The latter admission was in connection with her violation of the FACE Act, a 1994 law signed by President Bill Clinton that made it illegal to block the entrance to an abortion clinic, to threaten to do so, or to do “intentional damage or destruction” to such a facility.
“Today’s guilty plea is an important one,” U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen said as part of the announcement. “The Department of Justice takes violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act extremely seriously. This office will continue to prosecute violations of the Act, as was the case here, to ensure that every person’s rights are protected and preserved under the law.”
The U.S. attorney’s office also said that the threats do not necessarily have to be carried out in order for charges to be brought in such cases.
According to Law & Crime, Terry also threatened to “cut the eyes out of your doulas,” and her Twitter account has been suspended. She had previously been arrested, in 2015, for throwing rocks through the windows of a Planned Parenthood location in St. Louis. She received a suspended sentence and probation as a result of those charges.
In Nov. 2018, Maria Terry tweeted a threat at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund: "I'm gonna blow Up ALL YOUR FACILITIES AND CUT THE EYES OUT OF YOUR DOULAS." The St Louis woman has a long history of terrorizing Planned Parenthood clinics. #antichoice https://t.co/wKS10Zf824
— deBeauxOs (@deBeauxOs1) April 9, 2019
Terry faces up to one year in prison for the FACE Act charge and up to five years for the internet threat charge. Planned Parenthood had earlier obtained a restraining order against Terry, per The Riverfront Times. Sentencing for Terry is scheduled for early July.
It doesn’t appear that Terry is any relation to Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue and a notorious anti-abortion activist in the 1990s who often favored advocated blocking abortion clinic entrances and taking other extreme measures in preventing abortion.