Abortion debate appears to be at forefront of 2022 midterms

House, Senate Republicans press FBI on abortion clinic, pregnancy investigations, claim ‘abuse’ of law

Republicans in Congress are sending a letter to the FBI Wednesday demanding transparency and data on the bureau’s enforcement of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act prohibits the threat or use of physical force to intimidate a person seeking an abortion. It also outlaws damage or destruction to abortion facilities, pregnancy centers and houses of worship.

The letter, written by Texas Rep. Chip Roy and signed by House and Senate lawmakers, accuses the FBI of wielding the act to punish political opponents. 

“I am outraged by the Biden administration’s open war on pro-life activists and weaponization of federal law enforcement against patriotic Americans for their beliefs,” Roy told Fox News Digital in a statement. “This administration has a lot of explaining to do when protecting one’s own child means armed FBI agents at the door.”

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FBI Director Christopher Wray is sworn in during a hearing before Senate Judiciary Committee at Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill Aug. 4, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“We write to you today deeply concerned with the continued politicization of The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” the letter reads. 

“The recent rise in high-profile FBI investigations into pro-life Americans raises well-founded concerns that the FBI has amassed too much power and has become a partisan cudgel wielded by the Biden Administration at the behest of progressive activists against political opponents and dissenters,” the document reads.

The letter cites — among dozens of cases — the arrest of pro-life activist Mark Houck at his own home, charges leveled against Franciscan monk Fr. Fidelis Moscinski and clashes between law enforcement and pro-life protestors at a Minnesota Planned Parenthood facility.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc)

“These are not federal law enforcement matters and represent an abuse of the FACE Act,” the letter alleges.

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The Republicans doubled down on their accusation of intentionally lopsided enforcement of the FACE Act, accusing the FBI of failing to pursue a single violation committed against a house of worship or pro-life pregnancy center.

Pro-life activist Mark Houck, second from left, leaves federal court in Philadelphia after pleading not guilty to two counts associated with an alleged attack on an escort outside an abortion clinic in 2021.

Pro-life activist Mark Houck, second from left, leaves federal court in Philadelphia after pleading not guilty to two counts associated with an alleged attack on an escort outside an abortion clinic in 2021.
(Fox News Channel)

The letter reads, “This is particularly true since there have been no reports of FBI investigations or DOJ prosecutions in relation to the more than 72 pregnancy resource centers and 80 Catholic churches that have been attacked or vandalized since the Dobbs leak – heinous, violent, and organized crimes across state lines that are also subject to prosecution under the FACE Act.”

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The signing Republicans are demanding that data and information be provided for the number of FACE Act investigations launched by the FBI from 2019 to the present, the number of those investigations that deal with vandalism or arson against houses of worship and how many have been previously dismissed or sentenced by state courts.

Cosigners from the House of Representatives include Reps. Chris Smith, Bob Good, Andy Biggs, Randy Weber, Louie Gohmert, Mary Miller, Jeff Duncan, Michael Cloud, Andrew Clyde, Daniel Webster, Debbie Lesko, Andy Harris, Bill Posey, Ralph Norman, Doug Lamborn, Ronny Jackson, Glenn Grothman, Dan Bishop, Jody Hice, Paul Gosar, Lauren Boebert, Brian Babin, Jim Banks, Randy Feenstra.

Senate cosigners include Republican Sens. Lee, Marshall, Rubio, Tillis, Daines, Cotton, Risch, Braun, Crapo and Cruz.

Fox News has reached out to the FBI for comment.

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