The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened "a number" of investigations into abortion-related crimes committed by radical individuals and groups, Politico reported.
FBI Director Christopher Wray informed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that the agency was taking seriously violence resulting from the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade two months ago.
"From our perspective, I don't care what side of the issue you're on. I don't care who you're upset with or what you're upset about — on abortion or anything else — you don't get to use violence or threats of violence to act on it, and we're going to go after that conduct aggressively," Wray told lawmakers. "I feel very strongly about that, and I've communicated that very strongly to all of our field offices and our workforce."
While Democrats focused primarily on violence directed at abortion clinics, doctors, and women seeking the procedure, Republican senators pointed out that pro-life pregnancy centers and churches have experienced an onslaught of attacks.
According to data from the National Abortion Federation, attacks on providers increased drastically last year. Stalking increased 600%, suspicious packages 163%, and assault and battery 128% — from 15 cases in 2018 to 123 in 2021.
Meanwhile, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, noted while questioning Wray that pro-abortion extremists "have actively targeted over 82 churches and pregnancy centers" since May. The attacks have included spray painting, smashing windows, and firebombs.
"I understand that passions run high, especially on an issue like abortion, but there are just way too many people that seem to think that justifies engaging in violence and destruction of property and threats of violence," Wray said.
"I feel like every day I'm getting briefed on someone throwing a Molotov cocktail at someone over some issue. It's crazy."
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