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A group of more than 100 GOP lawmakers co-signed a letter on Wednesday urging Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers and religious organizations as acts of domestic terrorism.
The letter was sent after a recent surge in reported incidents against pro-life locations following the leak of a Supreme Court draft regarding a Mississippi case that could overturn Roe v. Wade and return decisions regarding abortion laws to individual states.
“We write to express serious concerns over recent attacks targeting religious organizations and crisis pregnancy centers and request the Department of Justice respond with how its National Security Division plans to investigate these acts of domestic terrorism,” the letter, signed by 126 House Republicans, states.
“In the past month, terrorists have targeted numerous pro-life crisis pregnancy centers — two of which culminated in the firebombing and destruction of property by the terrorist group Jane’s Revenge in Buffalo, NY, and Madison, WI,” the lawmakers added.
The letter cited 14 specific attacks since May 3, ranging from a Catholic parish in Colorado to a pregnancy care center in New York. The lawmakers claimed the DOJ has an obligation to investigate the attacks as potential domestic terrorism crimes.
“The department has a clear duty to pursue these recent attacks as instances of domestic terrorism, and it is the responsibility of the National Security Division to protect the United States from threats to our national security by seeking justice through law,” the letter added.
The letter concluded with the request for answers to two questions. First, the letter asked, “Is the Department currently investigating the attacks against the aforementioned groups as instances of domestic terrorism? If not, please provide the rationale behind this decision.”
In addition, the letter ended with the question, “What is the Department’s plan to prevent similar attacks from occurring against other pro-life organizations and is the Department currently collaborating with state and local law enforcement to ensure further incidents do not occur?” Answers were requested within 30 days.
The letter was led by representatives Scott Franklin (R-FL), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), and Mike Johnson (R-LA). The signers included House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Republican Policy Committee Chairman Gary Palmer (R-AL), National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer (R-MN), and House Republican Conference Secretary Richard Hudson (R-NC).
The letter also follows a terror alert issued by the Department of Homeland Security earlier this month over potential violence concerns regarding the Supreme Court’s pending abortion ruling, tensions over the surge at the U.S.-Mexico border, and dozens more high-profile events in the past few months.
“Some domestic violent extremists have expressed grievances related to their perception that the U.S. government is unwilling or unable to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and have called for violence to stem the flow of undocumented migrants to the United States,” the Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin alert read.
“Given a high-profile U.S. Supreme Court case about abortion rights, individuals who advocate both for and against abortion have, on public forums, encouraged violence, including against government, religious, and reproductive healthcare personnel and facilities, as well as those with opposing ideologies,” it added.