Pro-Life Activists Face 11 Years in Prison After Jury Hands Down Guilty Verdict

by Kate Anderson


Six pro-life activists were found guilty of blocking access to an abortion clinic on Tuesday and could face a sentence of up to 11 years in prison, according to a press release from the Thomas More Society.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) charged 11 pro-life activists in October 2022 with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which “prohibits threats of force, obstruction and property damage intended to interfere with reproductive health care services,” for blocking the entrance of an abortion clinic in March 2021. A jury ruled that the six defendants were guilty after a six-day trial at the Fred D. Thompson U.S. Courthouse in Nashville, Tennessee, according to the press release.

“We are, of course, disappointed with the outcome,” Steve Crampton, senior counsel for the Thomas More Society, which is representing Paul Vaughn, said. “This was a peaceful demonstration by entirely peaceable citizens—filled with prayer, hymn-singing, and worship—oriented toward persuading expecting mothers not to abort their babies. Unfortunately, the Biden Department of Justice decided to characterize Paul Vaughn’s peaceful actions as a felony ‘conspiracy against rights,’ to intimidate and punish Paul and other pro-life people and people of faith.”

Chet Gallagher, Coleman Boyd, Heather Idoni, Cal Zastrow, Paul Vaughn and Dennis Green were the defendants in the case, according to the Daily Wire. The DOJ alleged that they, along with several others who have also been charged, helped block the entrance of Carafem Health Center Clinic and prevented an employee and a patient from getting into the building, according to its press release.

In addition to the prison sentence, the pro-life activists could face up to $350,000 in fines, according to the DOJ’s press release. The Thomas More Society said that they planned to appeal the conviction shortly.

“This is a frustrating setback, for Paul, for his family, and for the extended pro-life community, which has rallied support for Paul from the day of his arrest in front of his wife and children by heavily armed FBI agents, on through the trial,” Crampton said.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 2, according to the Thomas More Society press release. A jury in Washington D.C. found several prominent pro-life activists guilty in August after they chained up the gates leading into an abortion clinic in the nation’s capital.

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Kate Anderson is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Pro-Life Protesters” by Greg Price. 





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