Anti-abortion extremists are among the most violent domestic terrorists in America, having murdered and attempted to murder dozens of people using firearms, firebombs and traditional explosives.
Pro-abortion extremists don't exist, apart from a single, self-described individual, Theodore Shulman, who threatened to kill (but did not actually harm) two anti-abortion activists, and went to prison for it.
Despite these irrefutable facts, the FBI circulated a warning to local law enforcement, briefing them on the domestic terror threat posed by pro-abortion extremists.
The warnings were obtained by the transparency activists at Property of the People (previously) through Freedom of Information Act requests, and reported out by Anna Merlan for Jezebel.
The warnings are similar to other FBI domestic terror and violence warnings — for example, on Black Identity Extremists and Juggalos — in that they bear no relationship to reality, and target marginalized groups generally on the left, while ignoring or minimizing real, heavily armed, violent groups on the right who stand in opposition to the FBI's chosen targets.
It's a good reminder that the FBI is composed largely of right-wing, authoritarian ideologues and has a long history of serving the interests of ruling elites and white supremacists, activities that they continue to this day, and which they have never apologized for or reckoned with.
"I think a couple things are notable here," Shapiro tells Jezebel, referring to the abortion one-sheet. "The FBI is treating the essentially fictitious category of terrorist pro-choice extremism as something that exists, and is apparently such a grave threat that even local law enforcement needs to be alerted to its supposed menace."
Shapiro also points out that the idea of violent pro-choice activists is a far-right talking point, promoted by groups like Human Life International and ultra-conservative outlets like The Federalist. Its appearance in a law enforcement document is worrisome, he says, and raises questions about how it got there.
"Despite being unsupported by evidence, the notion that there's somehow an unreported epidemic of violence committed by pro-choice activists has long been a far-right talking point," he says. "It's deeply troubling that the FBI appears to have now adopted this absurd and dangerous position."
As for the document itself, the details it provides on what pro-abortion terrorists do is a bit thin, perhaps based on the fact that there are basically none of them.
Both pro-life and pro-choice extremists, the document claims, "engage in criminal activity and seek to further their ideology, wholly or in part through force or violence. The primary threat of violence from abortion extremists emanates from lone offenders."
Exclusive: FBI Warned Law Enforcement Agencies of Threat Posed by Non-Existent 'Pro-Choice Extremists' [Anna Merlan/Jezebel]