(The Center Square) – Ahead of the Supreme Court’s overturning of the landmark 1972 abortion case of Roe v. Wade, attacks by abortion activists have increased against a range of pro-life targets, including Supreme Court justices.
In anticipation of violence and protests, President Joe Biden signed a bill Congress passed to protect justices’ families and security measures have been put in place on Capitol Hill including blockades erected around the Supreme Court building.
The court is continuing to announce opinions, expected into July.
Attacks against pro-life targets have occurred for years but increased after a draft opinion on Dobbs was leaked on May 2. Nearly eight weeks later, the court has yet to identify the leak.
In response to 19 attorneys general requesting the Department of Justice investigate violence being committed against pro-life groups, the FBI announced it was investigating attacks committed against pro-life and faith-based groups.
“The FBI is investigating a series of attacks and threats targeting pregnancy resource centers and faith-based organizations across the country,” the FBI said in a statement first reported by Fox News. “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 Family Research Council has documented nearly 50 incidents of “arson, vandalism, property theft, and property destruction,” targeting churches, pro-life organizations, individuals and other incidents, it reports.
As of June 13, at least 16 churches, 23 pro-life organizations and nine other incidents of vandalism, protests, bomb threats and assaults were reported against pro-life groups and individuals according to its analysis.
The greatest number of incidents on the list appear to have occurred in Texas – which has been ground zero for abortion since Roe v. Wade originated from a lawsuit filed in Dallas County 50 years ago. Last year, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the Heartbeat Bill into law, effectively eliminating abortions from being performed in Texas, with some exceptions, once a preborn baby’s heartbeat is detected.
After it went into effect, Houston-based Texas Right to Life received a bomb threat and a suspicious package and no one in the building was harmed.
“A lot of people are still FURIOUS about the Texas Heartbeat Act,” the group said. “They’re trying to silence us. They despise us for even talking about a life-saving law.”
The FBI’s investigation comes after a California man was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after going near his home armed with a gun and a knife reportedly to kill “a specific United States Supreme Court Justice.”
The attack also came after 25 state attorneys general called on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to enforce a federal law prohibiting anyone from targeting judges’ homes.
The group, Ruth Sent Us, named after deceased Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, first published a map of the streets where justices lived who were reportedly voting to overturn Roe, and encouraged protestors to go there. Google took the map offline saying it violated its terms of service. The group denied posting specific home addresses, instead saying it only pinned the streets where the justices lived. But Jeryl Bier, editor of Pluribus, pointed out “their map generates precise house number addresses for two Supreme Court Justices.” The group ultimately took down its website.
Another group, Jane’s Revenge, posted a statement online calling on activists to disrupt society, saying, “we need the state to feel our full wrath … We need them to be afraid of us” and “whoever you are and wherever you are, we are asking for you to do what you can to make your anger known … To those who work to oppress us: If abortion isn’t safe, you aren’t either. We are everywhere.”
It also posted a threat on Twitter on June 7, stating: “Night of Rage: An Autonomous Call to Action Against Patriarchal Supremacy! To those who work to oppress us: If abortion isn’t safe, you aren’t either. We are everywhere. Signed, JANE’S REVENGE.”
Texas Right to Life took a screenshot of the post, which has since been deleted, and published it.
“We should not be surprised by this level of violence and intimidation. The natural progression of advocating for the brutal murder of babies in the womb is to advocate for violence outside the womb as well,” the group said.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also has documented 139 incidents of vandalism, theft, harassment and violence committed against Roman Catholic churches over the past two years. Roman Orthodoxy, a traditional Catholic blog, has also documented incidents on Twitter.
In response to ongoing nationwide threats, Texas Right to Life said, “Pro-Lifers across the country must not be intimidated by threats and violence from the abortion industry and radical left. As Pro-Lifers we must remember the over 60 million innocent children already killed through abortion and continue working to end the senseless slaughter of the most vulnerable Americans.”