Grassley seeks FBI briefing on pro-abortion extremism
WASHINGTON-Judiciary Committee member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) seeks to be briefed on the FBI’s response to outbursts of rioting and violence by pro-abortion extremists following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In a letter to FBI Director Chris Wray, Grassley warned that the unchecked violence could escalate into widespread unrest similar to the summer of 2020, during which the FBI opened more than 800 domestic terrorism cases.
“There have been at least 40 violent attacks on crisis pregnancy centers, religious institutions and other pro-life entities since Dobbs fled and even before the Court issued its final opinion. This violence continues to cause injuries, property damage and disruption of constitutionally protected worship services across the country. In fact, it sped up significantly last weekend after the advisory was posted,” Grassley wrote.
“Our law enforcement officers are obligated to duly enforce the laws of our country – not just those that are politically suited to the current administration. I will remain committed to ensuring that the law is applied equally to across the ideological spectrum. The current threats from abortion extremists are imminent, serious and dangerous,” Grassley continued.
Grassley’s letter cites threats and violence linked to pro-abortion groups Jane’s Revenge and Ruth Sent Us, and describes protests where protesters in black attire commonly worn by Antifa threw smoke bombs and fought with police. Churches and pregnancy centers in crisis have also been targets of extremist violence, including arson.
June 27, 2022
BY ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION
Christopher A. Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20535-0001
I am writing to express my concern over a recent wave of violence perpetrated by extremist pro-abortion individuals and groups across the country. These attacks have multiplied since the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, later released on June 24, 2022, which returns abortion regulation to the states. As we discussed previously, I want to ensure that these violent attacks are acknowledged by the FBI and properly investigated for what they are – cases of abortion-related violent extremism.
Unfortunately, this prediction turned out to be surprisingly true. There have been at least 40 violent attacks on crisis pregnancy centers, religious institutions and other pro-life entities since the Dobbs
leak and even before the Court has issued its final opinion. This violence continues to cause injuries, property damage and disruption of constitutionally protected worship services across the country. In fact, it picked up noticeably last weekend after the advisory was published.
Roe vs. Wade. The leaflets explicitly call for a “night of rage” and encourage supporters of Jane’s Revenge to “take to the streets” and “riot.” He also threatens ‘oppressors’ – stating that ‘if abortions aren’t safe, neither are you’.
Their words matched their actions. They took credit for the bombings of crisis-ridden pregnancy centers in Madison, WI; Amherst, NY; Buffalo, New York; and Gresham, OR.
These attacks were also perpetrated in my home state of Iowa,
I told you about in a recent phone call. Along with their destruction, the group frequently spray-painted phrases like “revenge” and other threatening statements on the remaining structures. In addition to violence against crisis pregnancy centers and religious institutions, Ruth sent us organized illegally
protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices Barrett, Alito, Kavanagh and Roberts.
Additionally, the group has appealed to religious organizations to “stuff your rosaries and your armed prayer” because “we are going to burn the Eucharist to show our disgust…”
The suspect came from California with burglary tools, a knife, a firearm with two rounds of ammunition, a pair of boots designed to be silent when walking on hard surfaces, zip ties and duct tape.
Fortunately, the attacker called the police on his own after spotting two federal marshals patrolling the house. He admitted he intended to kill Judge Kavanagh and was charged with attempted murder.
Another arson attack occurred at a Catholic church in Reston, Virginia.
Both were also vandalized with pro-abortion graffiti. Some have been arrested for violence and disorderly conduct at protests, including ten in Eugene, Oregon. A crowd of 75 in Antifa’s familiar “black block” – black clothing, balaclavas, masks and umbrellas – threw smoke bombs and fought with officers. One of the first worrying features of these protests was the observable presence of groups dressed in black-blocks. It’s a familiar sight from 2020 riots, including those surrounding the Portland Courthouse, where rioters relied on similar attire to evade detection and arrest. The use of violence against law enforcement officials is also of concern. A small, violent group within a pro-abortion protest in Los Angeles began throwing makeshift weapons at police, with one subject even being arrested for the attempted murder of a police officer.
I understand that the FBI specifically hunts down a form of extremism known as pro-abortion violent extremism. I understand from a recent FBI bulletin shared with my office that the FBI is investigating many of the cases that I have described above as cases of domestic violent extremism. As such, you are evaluating many federal charges available, including hate crimes against pro-life religious institutions. I encourage the FBI’s efforts to hold accountable those who would terrorize places of worship, court judges, pregnancy centers that help mothers in need, and our very streets. Our law enforcement officers are required to duly enforce the laws of our country, not just those that are politically fit for the current administration. I will remain committed to ensuring that the law is applied equally across the ideological spectrum. The current threats from abortion extremists are imminent, serious and dangerous.
Unfortunately, this wave of violence is likely to continue. I fear we may even see a recurrence of the violence of summer 2020, during which the FBI opened more than 800 domestic terrorism cases. The FBI was unprepared for the torrent of left-wing violence that unleashed last summer. To respond to the current threat of pro-abortion violent extremism, the FBI will need to continue its efforts to identify and investigate cases of abortion-related violence across our country at a rapid pace. I request a briefing from the FBI on your preparedness to counter another potential summer of riots and your efforts thus far to combat this wave of abortion-related violence. Please contact my staff as soon as possible to arrange this information session.
Charles E. Grassley