It has been over five months since vandals attacked Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center in Lynchburg, Virginia, shattering windows and spray-painting a threatening message outside the building. No arrests have been announced.
The radical pro-abortion group Jane’s Revenge took credit for the attack, which occurred the night after the Supreme Court issued its June 24 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. That decision overturned Roe v. Wade and sent the question of regulating abortion back to the individual states.
The FBI looked into the Lynchburg incident immediately following the attack in June and was in touch with local law enforcement and staff at Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center.
“Again, thanks for everything and we’ll be in touch,” FBI agent Ryan Taylor told Lt. Joshua Campbell and Detective David Dubie of the Lynchburg Police Department in a June 27 email acquired by The Daily Signal through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Most of the correspondence between Taylor and the police officers was redacted, but emails show several exchanges occurred between the FBI and the Lynchburg Police Department in late June and early July.
The Daily Signal, which reported on the attack on the center over the summer, followed up with the pro-life group Thursday to learn if any progress had been made in the investigation.
Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center leaders said the last time they heard from the FBI was in September, adding that the FBI told them it “continues to investigate” and there was “no update at that time.”
The Daily Signal asked the FBI to confirm that its investigation of the attack remains open.
“The FBI can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation into this matter,” Michael Schuler, chief counsel for the FBI division in Richmond, Virginia, told The Daily Signal Thursday.
Dubie, the Lynchburg police detective, emailed the FBI’s Taylor and Kristina Couden on July 1, writing that the “blog in relation to Jane’s Revenge has now claimed [responsibility for] the Lynchburg event.”
Couden responded an hour later: “Thanks, Dubie. National conspiracy—check! I forwarded to the AUSA and [Justice Department] attorneys involved.”
The acronym AUSA probably refers to one or more assistant U.S. attorneys, who like the FBI are part of the Justice Department.
A Justice Department spokesperson said the agency had referred The Daily Signal’s request for comment to the FBI National Press Office, who said: “The FBI can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation into this matter.”
Jane’s Revenge claimed responsibility for the attack in a June 30 post on its blog, writing: “On June 24th, the night after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Jane’s Revenge smashed the windows of the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center’s headquarters in so-called Lynchburg Virginia.”
The pro-abortion group went on to detail damage to the pregnancy center, writing that the “ground in front of their now smashed front door reads ‘if abortion ain’t safe you ain’t safe.’”
At the end of the blog post, Jane’s Revenge encouraged others to take similar action against pro-life organizations, writing: “Fascism is on the rise but so are we! May the sound of shattering glass (seriously it is so satisfying :)) dry your tears.”
Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center is in the congressional district represented by Rep. Ben Cline, R-Va., who told The Daily Signal that the “vandalism attack … was a heinous act of political violence, and it’s unacceptable that the FBI has not provided the victims with any updates about their investigation.”
“FBI officials should work aggressively in a timely and transparent manner to bring the perpetrators of this heinous attack to justice,” Cline said.
Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center is one of at least 75 pregnancy resource centers and pro-life organizations that have been attacked or vandalized since the May 2 leak of a draft majority opinion in the Dobbs case, Catholic Votes reports.
The Daily Signal reported Oct. 11 that a pro-life center in Wisconsin had not heard from the FBI since it was firebombed six days after the leak. Jane’s Revenge also claimed responsibility for that attack.
Wisconsin Family Council and Action President Julaine Appling told The Daily Signal that her organization has heard “nothing from the FBI after they left our office the day of the attack, May 8.”
According to an email obtained by The Daily Signal last month, the Justice Department told the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that those who carried out attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers may be prosecuted under a U.S. law called the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, known as the FACE Act.
The FACE Act “prohibits violent, threatening, damaging and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with the right to seek, obtain or provide reproductive health services,” according to the Justice Department.
The FBI office in Buffalo, New York, said recently that vandals who carried out an arson attack on a local pregnancy center could face charges under the FACE Act.
On Nov. 14, five months after a June 7 attack on CompassCare Pregnancy Services Center in Amherst, New York, FBI Buffalo said in a press release that the FBI “is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for the arson.”
The vandals threw Molotov cocktails at the pregnancy center, starting a fire, and spray-painted “Jane was here” on the building.
This year alone, 26 pro-life individuals have been indicted or charged with violating the FACE Act in incidents related to abortion clinics, according to a list on the Justice Department’s website.
The Justice Department doesn’t report any charges under the FACE Act so far this year against individuals accused of attacking pro-life pregnancy centers.
“[President Joe] Biden’s FBI has been openly wielding its power against its political opponents, while shielding its allies – all over abortion,” Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote, told The Daily Signal Friday.
“Anyone paying attention understands that equal justice under the law has been rendered meaningless by this administration,” Burch said. “Holding the perpetrators of violence against pro-life churches and organizations accountable is a necessary first step towards regaining the American people’s trust.”
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