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Anti-abortion activists Lauren Handy and Joan Andrews Bell listen as Terrisa Bukovinac (R) speaks during a news conference on the five fetuses found inside the home where anti-abortion activists were living on Capitol Hill, at a news conference at the Hyatt Regency on April 05, 2022 in Washington, DC.Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — The Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), a group that fights abortion without taking a religious stance, says an FBI informant infiltrated and “surreptitiously recorded” a January meeting in which they planned pro-life “rescues” at abortion facilities.

PAAU, which made headlines last year after reportedly discovering the bodies of five late-term babies outside a Washington, D.C. abortion clinic, says that recording was then used to allege that PAAU director of activism Lauren Handy had violated her terms of release after charges of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.

According to the group, “The FBI is working overtime to unjustly target peaceful nonviolent anti-abortion activism that abides by federal law!”

In a lengthy Twitter thread on Wednesday, PAAU argued that an individual who attended the group’s Thursday, January 19 meeting at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., was an FBI informant who created a recording of the meeting in order to provide it to law enforcement.

According to the thread, the suspected individual identified as “Eric Mike Santos” had “arrived late to the meeting, was wearing a black mask, and left early, likely a strategy to avoid engagement by any of the legitimate attendees.”

The group said the individual subsequently attempted to “follow up directly with PAAU staff” in a bid for more “information about PAAU’s planning practices,” something PAAU suggested was “likely an attempt to gather additional information to be used against PAAU activists in court and to further their surveillance efforts.”

The pro-life group said it believes that “Santos” was “an informant with the FBI and the source of the recording.”

“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,” PAAU founder and executive director Terrisa Bukovinac said. “This is a complete misuse and weaponization of the justice department and clearly demonstrates why the FACE Act must be fully and rapidly repealed.”

LifeSiteNews reached out to the FBI regarding the matter but the agency declined to comment.

In the recording for which “Santos” is thought to be responsible, Handy spoke about a “nonviolent direct-action tactic called #PinkRoseRescue which was planned for January 21st.”

The recording was reportedly played in court on Tuesday as prosecutors contended that Handy had violated her terms of release by planning the rescue.

Free pending an August court date, Handy faces 11 years in federal prison for her role in a 2020 PAAU protest at an infamous Washington, D.C. abortion facility run by so-called “Butcher of D.C.” Cesare Santangelo.

RELATED: Abortionist of retrieved late-term babies once admitted he would leave born-alive children to die

Handy’s terms of release prevent her entering abortion centers, but PAAU contends that Handy had no plans to personally enter any abortion facilities, or did the recording indicate that she did.

Moreover, PAAU says, “It was also apparent” in the recording “that neither Handy nor anyone else present at the meeting was engaged in the planning of any federal crimes.”

Regardless, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered that new language be added to Handy’s terms of release barring her from planning any pro-life activities involving entering abortion facilities, though it allows her to encourage women to obtain abortions.

According to the new language, as reported by PAAU, Handy may not “conspire, plan, instruct, assist, abet, direct, or otherwise aid in any way others from entering reproductive services clinics for any reason other than for the receipt of such services.”

PAAU pointed out that Kollar-Kotelly is the same judge who said the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery, may also contain the right to murder infants in the womb.

READ: Judge suggests slavery-ending Thirteenth Amendment may contain a ‘right’ to abortion

Meanwhile, PAAU said their planned rescue took place as planned, though police were already on the scene and “at least one of those abortion centers closed for the day.”

“You can’t arrest an idea. Oppression always backfires,” Handy said, according to the Twitter thread. She said that “[r]escue is unstoppable” and that although she “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 & surveillance from a [government] hellbent on murdering babies,” she said.

PAAU’s allegations concerning the infiltration of an FBI informant into their planning meeting comes amid an ongoing wave of troubling FBI activities targeting pro-life activists and Catholics.

As extensively reported by LifeSiteNews, the FBI carried out guns-drawn raids on two pro-life Catholic fathers of large families last year, namely Mark Houck and Paul Vaughn.

Also last year, the Biden administration’s DOJ indicted pro-life Catholic priest Fr. Fidelis Moscinski on federal charges and hit 11 pro-life activists, including an 87-year-old survivor of a communist concentration camp, with federal charges for a peaceful protest at a Nashville, Tennessee abortion facility.

Meanwhile, a since-retracted internal document that was leaked from the Richmond, Virginia FBI field office directed federal resources to surveil so-called “radical-traditionalist Catholics,” naming abortion as one of the public policy issues that the agency thought might connect such Catholics with certain violent extremist groups.

To address concerns of the use of government power against ideological opponents of the Biden administration, the newly minted GOP majority in the U.S. House of Representatives last month resolved to create a “Weaponization of Government” Select Committee to investigate alleged instances of FBI and other federal intelligence agencies’ meddling in domestic politics. The committee’s priorities include investigation into the federal government’s use of the FACE Act to arrest pro-lifers.