NEW YORK, May 29, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The FBI office charged with investigating terrorism has said it intends to question the national director of a chain of crisis pregnancy centers. The development is the latest in what pro-life activists have charged is a pattern of intimidation on the part of the Obama administration against pro-life activists.
Agents of the Joint Domestic Terrorism Task Force told Chris Slattery, national director of Expectant Mother Care (EMC) FrontLine Pregnancy Centers, only that they wanted to meet him “for a mutually beneficial relationship.”
“In other words, if I don't meet with them, it will not be beneficial for me,” Slattery told LifeSiteNews.com. “I'm not sure what I'm going to get out of it,” he joked.
The questioning comes as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has subpoenaed the group for not abiding by the standards of a consent agreement Slattery believed expired more than 20 years ago, as well as in relation to a question of some of its paperwork. (See related story.)
Currently EMC is poised to expand crisis pregnancy centers into 10 states, including Washington, D.C.
Federal agents pressed to meet Slattery last Friday but rescheduled when he insisted that one of his attorneys be present. Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice has agreed to represent him at a national level, and Christopher Ferrara of the American Catholic Lawyers Association has agreed to act as his local counsel.
The meeting will probably be held next week, Slattery said.
“I thank God for the FBI,” Slattery said, noting their good work fighting crime and legitimate terrorism. “But if the president orders them to do something, they have to do it.”
“I do know they have been used by attorney generals in the past for surveillance of domestic troublemakers and communists, and now we are the communists of the modern-day, the domestic 'people of interest,'” he said.
The rate of federal questions, and allegations of surveillance, of pro-life activists have led many leaders to conclude the Obama administration is gathering intelligence on the pro-life movement.
FBI agents questioned Andy Moore, the founder of AbortionWiki.org and the incoming director of online communications at Americans United for Life, last July after Southwest Women’s Surgery Center, a Dallas abortion facility, complained that Moore used a bullhorn during a peaceful protest.
Moore said they raised the possibility the Obama administration might deport the pro-life activist back to his native New Zealand if he did not name the names of other pro-life activists.
They also reportedly asked, “What affiliations do you have, including church groups” and other pro-life groups?
Some say Attorney General Eric Holder has a vested interest in prosecuting the pro-life movement, since his wife and sister-in-law rented facilities to Tyrone Cecil Malloy, a Georgia abortionist accused of malpractice, Medicaid fraud, and causing a patient’s death.
The Justice Department has intensified the number of cases it is prosecuting under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, something Obama's Labor nominee, Thomas Perez, boasted about last September.
Civil libertarians – and at least one federal judge – wonder if it is not part of a deliberate strategy to silence sidewalk counselors.
EMC maintains a perpetual vigil at an abortion facility in South Bronx, Slattery said.
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Last year the Justice Department had to pay $120,000 in attorney's fees after wrongly accusing Mary Susan Pine of “trespassing” at a West Palm Beach abortion facility. In his scathing ruling, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp wrote that he “can only wonder whether this action was the product of a concerted effort between the Government and the [facility], which began well before the date of the incident at issue, to quell Ms. Pine’s activities.”
“The Obama administration is essentially engaging in a witch hunt,” wrote Allison Aranda, senior staff conusel at Life Legal Defense Foundation. “From the moment the new administration took office, the DOJ has been targeting peaceful pro-life sidewalk counselors.”
However, the opposition to the pro-life movement has been anything but localized in one agency of the Obama administration.
A series of Department of Homeland Security reports have demonized pro-life conservatives from the earliest days of the Obama administration. Its 2009 report on “Rightwing [sic.] Extremism” proved so embarrassing the DHS pulled it – but others followed.
DHS and FBI agents later attended a training seminar on alleged pro-life terrorism, hosted by Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation, and the Feminist Majority Foundation.
As recently as last November, Dr. Arlie Perliger, wrote a paper for West Point's Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) claiming that the “pro-life paradigm” is a motivating factor in domestic terrorism.
In the last month, the administration has come under fire for subjecting pro-life groups, as well as evangelical Protestant and Roman Catholic organizations, to additional IRS scrutiny.
Documents to Congress show that agents improperly asked groups petitioning for tax-exempt status to name their constributors, activists, and allied organizations.
Among other things, the IRS asked the Coalition of Life for Iowa, “Please detail the content of the members of your organization's prayers.” Congress continues to investigate the scandal.
For his part, Slattery said he plans on meeting with the federal agents. “I have nothing to hide. I'm not afraid of them,” he told LifeSiteNews. “I'm only afraid of sin and violating my conscience.”
For more information on the crisis pregnancy centers, visit EMCfrontlines.org.