GOP lawmakers demand Garland prepare to protect churches as protesters target services

Abortion-rights activists plan Mother's Day protests at churches

Fox News religion correspondent Lauren Green discusses how protests have begun over the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned and how these activist groups are targeting churches on ‘Special Report.’

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Two Republican lawmakers are pressing the Justice Department to take more seriously threats made against churches after a draft opinion from the Supreme Court threatened to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Texas Rep. Chip Roy and Utah Sen. Mike Lee sent a letter Saturday to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking him to marshal resources necessary to protect churches under threat of vandalism and disruptive protest.

"We write to you today extremely concerned by multiple reports surfacing that left-wing activists intend to protest, and possibly disrupt, church services this weekend in direct response to the leaked opinion authored by Justice Alito that would overturn Roe v. Wade," Lee and Roy wrote.


The lawmakers noted that a prominent example of anti-Christian vandalism has already been documented.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks during a news conference in the Capitol, July 20, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc)

"We believe these rumors should be taken seriously as protests have already begun occurring across the country this week, with the Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Boulder, Colorado, vandalized."

Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church was vandalized this week with anti-religious and abortion-rights graffiti.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office told Fox News it responded to reports Wednesday morning of vandalism at the church.

Photos show the church tagged with messages like "bans off our bodies" and "my body my choice." Several anarchist symbols were spray-painted on the walls as well.

"Regardless of one’s position on abortion, the free exercise of religion is a core tenet of our Constitution," Lee and Roy wrote. "We condemn behaviors that infringe upon the freedom to exercise one’s religious beliefs and respectfully ask that you swiftly alert and coordinate resources with state and local law enforcement to ensure that any organized effort across the country is properly addressed and the rights of Americans are protected."

Vandalism on the Sacred Heart of Mary Church. 

Vandalism on the Sacred Heart of Mary Church.  (Mark Haas)


White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated Friday that President Biden does not have an opinion on the use of protests to influence Supreme Court opinions.

Speaking at a press gaggle Friday, Psaki said Biden believes in "peaceful protests" but stopped short of endorsing attempts to pressure Supreme Court rulings. Citing Biden's belief in the separation of powers in government, Psaki clarified the president is cautious of overstepping his position.

Fox News' Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

Timothy Nerozzi Fox News