FBI investigates rising attacks on pro-life centers, churches


The FBI confirmed Friday it is investigating attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers and churches, episodes of violence and vandalism that surged after the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

“The FBI is investigating a series of attacks and threats targeting pregnancy resource centers and faith-based organizations across the country,” the FBI told The Washington Times. “The FBI takes all threats seriously and we continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners and will remain vigilant to protect our communities.”

The FBI National Press Office statement followed a full-court press from House and Senate Republicans, pro-life leaders and religious groups urging the Biden administration to take action on violent incidents carried out by shadowy activists and extremist groups such as Jane’s Revenge.

CatholicVote President Brian Burch, who led a Thursday letter from conservative and religious leaders to Attorney General Merrick Garland, said he was “pleased to learn that law enforcement is finally responding to the widespread attacks on pro-life Americans.”

“We will be monitoring their response closely to be sure it is more than mere words without follow-through,” Mr. Burch said. “We expect the Bureau to treat these threats and violence like they would any other attack on innocent Americans. Unlike the concerned parents who were investigated by the Bureau last year, these are real domestic terrorists.”

There have been at least 140 incidents of arson, vandalism and graffiti at Catholic churches since May 2020, and at least 24 attacks on pro-life offices and pregnancy resource centers since Politico published the leaked opinion on May 2, according to interactive trackers launched Tuesday by CatholicVote.

The cases include Molotov cocktail attacks on pro-life organizations in Madison, Wisconsin, and Keizer, Oregon. Last week, activists set fires and broke windows at the CompassCare pro-life pregnancy center in Buffalo, New York, and wrote “Jane was here” in graffiti on the building’s exterior.

More than 120 House Republicans urged Mr. Garland to investigate the episodes in a Thursday letter, while Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, called on the attorney general to take the attacks seriously or step down.

“What is the Department of Justice doing to protect Americans from these violent attacks? At a minimum, you should bring federal charges against the perpetrators, where appropriate, and investigate ‘Jane’s Revenge’ as a domestic terrorist organization,” Mr. Cotton wrote in a letter. “If you are unwilling to protect Americans from these attacks, you should resign — although, in my opinion, you should resign in any case.”

A frustrated Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, said, “there has not been a single charge brought against any individual or group despite the countless pro-life centers in America that have been firebombed and vandalized in recent months.”

The FBI previously said it was investigating the May 8 attack on the Wisconsin Family Action headquarters in Madison, and vandalism last month at Catholic churches in Boulder and Fort Collins, Colorado.

Pro-life groups are girding for a fresh round of violence when the Supreme Court releases its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is expected to allow states to curtail pre-viability abortion access.

“Everyone with the urge to paint, to burn, to cut, to jam: now is the time,” said the Jane’s Revenge statement.

Mr. Garland said Wednesday that Supreme Court justices are receiving “24-7” protection at their residences following heightened concerns over protests outside the homes of conservative jurists.

A California man was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury for the attempted murder of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. The suspect was found June 8 with a Glock 17 pistol, ammunition, burglary tools, a knife and pepper spray near the Kavanaugh home in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

“President Biden has said domestic terrorism represents the greatest threat to our country,” said Mr. Burch. “Right now, that threat is coming from pro-abortion and anti-Catholic activists.”

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