FBI visits home of pro-life activist’s mother in act she says was meant ‘to intimidate:’ ‘Refuse to back down’
Posted For: Layla Godey
A Ring doorbell camera caught two FBI agents speaking with a pro-life activist’s mother in recently released video.
The Daily Signal first reported Wednesday on the footage showing the agents, identified as Ashley Roberts and Kathleen Brown, visiting the childhood home of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) member Elise Ketch on April 18 at approximately 2:45 P.M. Though Ketch no longer resides in the Woodbridge, Virginia, house, her mother, Tracy Ketch, spoke with the agents who were looking for her daughter.
“We just need to speak with her regarding some information that was sent to us,” Roberts said.
She continued, “She’s not in any trouble. We just have some information we need to ask her about.”
When Ketch’s mother asked if she could take pictures of their badges, Roberts replied, “Unfortunately, we’re not allowed to have anyone take our pictures.”
After requesting contact information, Ketch’s mother then asked what the reason behind the visit was. Roberts declined to answer.
“We would tell you all the information because, like I said, she’s not in any trouble, but just out of respect for her, we’d like to speak with her first and then, if she feels like talking to you, which I’m sure she will because it’s nothing,” Roberts said.
Additional footage showed Ketch’s mother calling Elise to alert her about the FBI agents.
“Mom, don’t tell them anything,” Ketch was heard saying.
Ketch said in a statement originally given to The Daily Signal that she has “no idea” why FBI agents went to her mother’s home or what information they were sent, but had “a few guesses as to what was going on.”
“My colleague at Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, Lauren Handy, is indicted under the FACE [Freedom of Access Clinic Entrances] Act and is being prosecuted by the federal government. It’s plausible that these FBI agents aimed to collect information from me to help build their case against her,” Ketch explained.
She added, “While they reassured my mother that I was not in trouble, it’s also possible that they see me as a threat due to my pro-life activism and intended to investigate me. Yet, to my knowledge, they never attempted to follow up with me or my attorney, so I believe the FBI’s true motive behind their visit to my parents’ home was to intimidate me and my team.”
Ketch began working for the PAAU back in December after previously volunteering for them. Most recently, Ketch was arrested in March with her fellow pro-life activists for blocking traffic after protesting in front of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. The protest revolved around the discovery of the bodies of five unborn fetuses in a medical waste bin outside the Washington SurgiClinic, which performs abortions, one year prior.
While Ketch was concerned for her family’s safety following the incident, she stated, “I refuse to back down.”
“This weaponization of our government institutions protects the abortion industrial complex, and it reinforces that we must disrupt these unjust power structures,” Ketch said. “The most prevalent domestic threat to our country is the murder of thousands of preborn people by abortion each day. It is not terrorism to nonviolently intervene and rescue these powerless children before their slaughter. I’m willing to risk my own freedom and sacrifice my rights in order to secure theirs.”
This FBI visit followed the controversial arrest of pro-life activist and author Mark Houck in September. Houck was arrested in front of his wife and seven children outside their Pennsylvania home. Houck’s wife and lawyer described the event as involving roughly 25 uniformed agents with “guns drawn” to lead Houck out in “shackles.”
The raid allegedly stemmed from an altercation Houck had with a Planned Parenthood escort back in October 2021. While the Philadelphia Police Department confirmed the event, Houck was not arrested. By May 2022, however, he received a letter from the Justice Department stating that he was being investigated for potentially violating the FACE Act.