NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/CBS News/AP) — Law enforcement authorities have reported an uptick in attacks on reproductive health care facilities as Congress grapples over the future of funding for Planned Parenthood, CBS News has learned.
A newly released FBI Intelligence Assessment said “it is likely criminal or suspicious incidents will continue to be directed against reproductive health care providers, their staff and facilities,” CBS News has learned.
In July, the pro-life Center for Medical Progress secretly recorded videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing how they obtain tissue from aborted fetuses for medical research. Since then, investigators said there have been nine criminal or suspicious incidents across the country, CBS News has learned.
The incidents include reported cyberattacks, threats and arsons, sources told CBS News. The FBI believes the incidents are, “consistent with the actions of lone offenders using tactics of arsons and threats all of which are typical of the pro-life extremist movement,” sources said.
On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives used a nearly party-line 241-187 vote to clear legislation that would block Planned Parenthood’s federal funds for at least a year.
The Defund Planned Parenthood Act would remove federal funding from Planned Parenthood for a year while committees investigate allegations made against the organization, and reallocate the funds to community health centers, CBS News reported.
The legislation stands little chance of enactment. Senate Democrats have enough votes to block it, and for good measure the White House has promised a veto, CBS News reported.
Planned Parenthood gets around $450 million yearly in federal payments, mostly Medicaid reimbursements for handling low-income patients.
That is around one-third of the $1.3 billion yearly budget of the organization, which has nearly 700 clinics and provides sexual disease testing, contraceptives and abortions. Virtually none of the federal money can be used for abortions.
Abortion opponents say the tapes show Planned Parenthood illegally profited from tissue sales. Planned Parenthood says it’s acted legally and says the tapes were deceptively edited.