The FBI is offering up to $25,000 for information that could help it track down those responsible for a series of recent attacks and threats against reproductive health care facilities.
The agency announced the rewards in a press release Thursday, saying it was “seeking the public’s help” in investigating these crimes, many of which involve acts of arson and vandalism targeting anti-abortion nonprofit organizations.
“Today’s announcement reflects the FBI’s commitment to vigorously pursue investigations into crimes against pregnancy resource centers, faith-based organizations, and reproductive health clinics across the country,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with our national, state, and local law enforcement partners to hold responsible anyone who uses extremist views to justify their criminal actions.”
The majority of the attacks described in the press release took place after May 2, 2022, when Politico published a leaked draft of a decision by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority in a Mississippi case that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion.
Many of the incidents under investigation involved attacks on offices and clinics run by anti-abortion organizations, including a May 8 attack on the headquarters of Wisconsin Family Action, an anti-abortion group in Madison, Wis. Attackers reportedly set fire to the building, threw a Molotov cocktail through a window and vandalized the building's exterior with graffiti reading, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.”
Jane’s Revenge, a militant pro-abortion-rights group that emerged after the leaked Supreme Court ruling, reportedly claimed credit for the Madison attack at the time, but law enforcement did not immediately confirm that claim.
Similar graffiti was found on other buildings in the attacks under investigation, such as the June 7 firebombing of an anti-abortion pregnancy clinic in Amherst, N.Y., where vandals spray-painted “Jane was here” and set fire to the building with a Molotov cocktail.
The FBI is also searching for information on individuals responsible for throwing a Molotov cocktail at the front door of a medical building used by Planned Parenthood, an abortion provider, in Costa Mesa, Calif., on March 13 — before the draft decision was leaked.
Ahead of the highly anticipated ruling, which was officially announced on June 24, law enforcement authorities were preparing for the possibility that Roe’s reversal could inspire violence and civil unrest, as revealed by intelligence bulletins obtained at the time by Yahoo News.
Following the ruling, Yahoo News reported that the FBI had issued guidance to state and local law enforcement agencies, urging them to report any ideologically motivated crimes or “potentially violent” reactions to the Roe reversal in their communities that could be investigated as federal crimes. The guidance, issued on June 22, indicated that the FBI offered examples of criminal activity from both sides of the abortion debate that could be investigated as federal crimes, including acts of domestic terrorism and violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.