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Catholic Parishes Brace for Backlash as DHS Warns Violent Extremism ‘Likely’ in Wake of Roe v. Wade Decision…

Catholic Parishes Brace for Backlash as DHS Warns Violent Extremism ‘Likely’ in Wake of Roe v. Wade Decision…

The Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence arm said in a memo on Friday that domestic violent extremism is “likely” in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Why it matters: Violence could take place in multiple locations for weeks as states make changes to their abortion laws, according to the memo, which was obtained by Axios.

Details: Government officials — including Supreme Court justices — are likely those most at risk, the memo said. It cites recent attacks by the abortion-rights group known as Jane’s Revenge as well as an alleged plot to kill U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

  • The memo also lists reproductive health care facilities and faith-based organizations as potential targets for acts of violent extremism.
  • The intelligence agency says it is aware of arson attacks by both anti-abortion rights and abortion-rights activists targeting pregnancy resource centers and health care facilities as well as “at least 11 incidents of vandalism threatening violence targeting religious facilities perceived as being opposed to abortion.”
  • The document was said to be shared with state and local Homeland Security personnel, law enforcement, first responders and private sector partners. The assessment was based on a rise in violence following the earlier leak of a draft Supreme Court decision.

The big picture: Abortion-related attacks have already been on the rise, Axios’ Oriana Gonzalez writes.

  • Assaults directed at abortion clinic staff and patients increased 128% in 2021 compared to 2020, according to a recent report.

What they’re saying: “Americans’ freedom of speech and right to peacefully protest are fundamental constitutional rights. Those rights do not extend to violence and other illegal activity,” a DHS spokesperson told Axios.

  • “DHS will continue working with our partners across every level of government to share timely information and to support law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe.”

Go deeper: Here’s what happens now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade

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