Senator Ted Cruz questioned the FBI on Wednesday about allegedly sending an undercover agent to spy on pro-lifers with the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU).
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Cruz and U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, both Republicans from Texas, asked if the federal government sent an agent posing as a pro-lifer to secretly record a Jan. 19 pro-life meeting, according to Fox News.
“The American people deserve to know if their tax dollars and federal law enforcement agencies are being used to spy on pro-life Americans,” Cruz told Fox News. “And we will continue to press the Department of Justice for the answers they owe the public.”
Last week, PAAU accused the FBI of sending an undercover agent, “Eric Mike Santos,” posing as a pro-life advocate to surreptitiously record one of their meetings and trap its director of activism, Lauren Handy. She is facing federal charges under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act for allegedly blocking the entrance of a late-term abortion facility in 2020 in Washington, D.C. If convicted, she could spend up to 11 years in prison.
According to PAAU, federal prosecutors used the recording at a hearing Feb. 21 to claim Handy was violating her terms of release in the ongoing case.
“Ultimately, these allegations are deeply concerning,” Cruz said.
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In their letter to the attorney general, Cruz and Roy said Americans deserve to know if the federal government is spying on pro-lifers under the Biden administration.
“Allegations that the FBI is spying on pro-life gatherings in tandem with the rise in high-profile FBI investigations into pro-life Americans raise well-founded concerns for millions of Americans,” their letter states. “The American people deserve the truth – are their tax dollars and federal law enforcement agencies being used to spy on pro-life Americans?”
According to the report, FBI Director Chris Wray also was questioned about spying on pro-lifers “during a Fox News interview on Tuesday but he declined to answer. ‘Well, as I’m sure you can appreciate, Bret, I can’t really appropriately talk about when, where and how we use confidential informants,’ Wray told Fox News’ Bret Baier.”
Garland faced similar questions during a U.S. Senate hearing this week amid growing concerns about the Biden administration using the Department of Justice as a weapon against its political opponents.
Handy and 10 others, including PAAU executive board member Herb Geraghty, could spend up to 11 years in federal prison for allegedly blocking access to the Washington Surgi Center in the fall of 2020. The D.C. abortion business aborts unborn babies through the third trimester, and its abortionist Cesare Santangelo admitted that he “probably wouldn’t” help a baby who survives an abortion even though “legally we would be obligated to help.”
Then, in early 2022, pro-life advocates with PAAU said they found the bodies of 110 first-trimester aborted babies and five late-term aborted babies in boxes that they received from a truck driver who was collecting medical waste from Santangelo’s abortion facility.
At the time, Handy said five babies appeared to be “so advanced in their gestational age and the patterns in their wounds suggest violent federal crimes.” In response, pro-life and Republican leaders urged authorities to investigate if the babies were illegally killed in violation of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban or the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. However, it appears that neither city nor federal authorities did.
Instead, Handy and others are facing prison time for attempting to save unborn babies from abortion by blocking the abortion facility entrance.
PAAU founder and executive director Terrisa Bukovinac said the FACE Act needs to be repealed and the Department of Justice needs to stop being used as a weapon against pro-life advocates.
“It is shocking that the FBI is spending time and resources to physically send informants into our spaces to secretly record the work of totally nonviolent life-saving actions which are compliant with federal law!” Bukovinac said.
Handy added: “You can’t arrest an idea. Oppression always backfires. Rescue is unstoppable, and while I can no longer plan or assist others because of the government’s gag order, the foundations have been set and the ball is in motion. Rescue is back and a new generation of activists aren’t going to be stopped by threats and surveillance from a government hellbent on murdering babies.”
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