The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned of an increasing number of attacks on reproductive healthcare facilities. "It is likely criminal or suspicious incidents will continue to be directed against reproductive health care providers, their staff and facilities," an FBI Intelligence Assessment reads, according to a CBS report Friday.
The finding comes after a July video from the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, which released secretly taped footage of Planned Parenthood officials discussing how they use tissues from aborted fetuses for medical research.
Since then, federal investigators have reported nine criminal or suspicious incidents at reproductive health centers across the country, which included cyberattacks, threats and arson. The FBI believes the incidents were “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 told CBS.
Meanwhile, also on Friday, U.S. lawmakers voted to clear a bill that would block Planned Parenthood’s funding for at least a year.
The bill, which passed 241-187, with lawmakers voting largely along party lines, came after a hotly contested debate that featured graphic photographs of aborted fetuses. Republican officials said the leaked Planned Parenthood videos showed that the organization was illegally profiting from selling fetal organs, but the nonprofit has said that the tissues are sold legally and the tapes were misleadingly edited.
"What does it say about this Congress that today we're here on the House floor debating the killing and harvesting of aborted babies?" Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., said, according to the Associated Press. "How can there possibly be two sides to this?"
The bill will now move on to the Senate, though President Barack Obama has said that he will veto the motion if it reaches his desk.
The federally funded health organization gets about $450 million a year in payments, largely from Medicaid reimbursements for handling low-income patients. The payment makes up about one-third of the organization’s annual budget.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex., also brought out a new plan to vote on a continuing resolution -- which would temporarily fund the government until a long-term deal is reached while simultaneously cutting federal money to Planned Parenthood. Reports indicate that next week’s vote on the resolution is likely to fail.
Some Republicans have called for the party to ignore the continuing resolution bill, which they consider doomed, and have demanded a tougher stance toward Planned Parenthood, even if that means blocking the spending bill and triggering a government shutdown.
A previous attempt to defund the organization in August failed with only 53 of the 60 votes needed to pass over the Democrats’ filibuster.
"I think there will be a vote on that. I just don't think Democrats will let that pass," Cornyn told Politico Thursday. "We will vote on defunding (Planned Parenthood) on the (continuing resolution) in some form or another."