At least two more pro-life congressional representatives were the targets of violent threats this week.
Police arrested a New York man Wednesday for allegedly leaving threatening voicemail messages for U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, Fox News reports. Both are pro-life Republican leaders in the House.
One message allegedly threatened “to feed lead” to Scalise’s children, a death threat.
Scalise, the House Republican whip, is the same congressman who was wounded in a 2017 shooting when a left-wing activist opened fire on Republicans during a Congressional baseball game practice in Virginia.
Police linked the same man, allegedly Carlos Bayon, 63, of Grand Island, New York, to both voicemail threats, the AP reports.
Here’s more from the report:
U.S. Attorney James Kennedy said investigators believe the threats are credible. The prosecutor said items that are “very concerning” were found in Carlos Bayon’s Grand Island home, north of Buffalo.
The messages say in part: “You are taking ours. We are taking yours.” Kennedy did not elaborate on what evidence was found.
According to Townhall, the voicemail left for Scalice threatened his children in a vague reference to the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
It reportedly said: “Hey listen, this message is for you and the people that sent you there. You are taking ours, we are taking yours. Anytime, anywhere. We know where they are. We are not going to feed them sandwiches, we are going to feed them lead. Make no mistake you will pay. Ojo por ojo, diente por diente (Spanish for ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’). That is our law and we are the majority. Have a good day.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for Scalise expressed gratitude to local authorities for providing protection.
“Whip Scalise is grateful to law enforcement for their actions,” the spokesperson said. “He will never forget how their heroism saved his life and those of his colleagues last year. As he has said before, there is absolutely no place in our political discourse for violent threats.”
The latest news indicates an alarming pattern of threats and harassment against pro-life political leaders.
Earlier this week, leading pro-life Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey also received a death threat allegedly from a Democrat in his state. In June, a Florida man who volunteers at Planned Parenthood was arrested after he allegedly threatened to kill pro-life U.S. Rep. Brian Mast’s children.
Earlier in 2017, a Texas state lawmaker Tony Tinderholt and his family also were put under state protection after he received multiple death threats related to a bill he introduced to ban abortions. A Missouri pro-life lawmaker also received a death threat while he led an investigation into the abortion giant Planned Parenthood in 2015.
These threats and violence have not been limited to high profile pro-life leaders. Volunteer sidewalk counselors, students and other grassroots pro-life advocates also have been targeted.
In two separate incidents in 2017, men allegedly threatened to kill pro-life advocates outside abortion facilities in California and Florida. And violent threats against a California pro-life leader prompted him to cancel a pro-life rally.
Then, in December, a 15-year-old girl was punched in the face and knocked to the ground outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Roanoke, Virginia. The assault was captured on video.
In late October, pro-life advocates in Dallas, Texas called a bomb squad after they found a suspicious package near their 40 Days for Life site. WFAA News 8 reports the Dallas Police Department later determined that the suspicious package was a hoax, quite possibly meant to scare pro-life advocates who peacefully pray outside a nearby abortion clinic.
Students for Life has documented more than 40 incidents of vandalism alone in the past five years against its pro-life students groups. An interactive map displays the places where its clubs have been victims of vandalism.