On Wednesday, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the indictment of eight pro-life protesters in Michigan on federal charges, continuing an alarming trend of the weaponization of federal law enforcement agencies for the targeting of political opponents.
As reported by Fox News, the eight defendants have been charged under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, or FACE Act, over an incident that took place outside an abortion clinic in Sterling Heights, Michigan in August of 2020. The DOJ accuses the eight of “engaging in a civil rights conspiracy” for allegedly blocking the entrance to the Northland Family Planning Clinic. The indictment claims that one of the defendants advertised the protest ahead of time as a “blockade” on social media.
“All eight defendants violated the FACE Act by using physical obstruction to intimidate and interfere with the Sterling Heights clinic’s employees and patients,” the indictment claims, “because the clinic’s employees were providing, and the patients were seeking, reproductive health services.”
The prosecution is being led by Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the DOJ’s Office of Civil Rights, as well as Dawn Ison, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.
The FACE Act is a law that makes it a federal crime to “injure, intimidate or interfere” with a woman who is trying to get an abortion. Those convicted under the FACE Act could face sentences of up to 11 years in prison and fines of $350,000.
The Biden DOJ’s weaponization of the FACE Act in particular has gained notoriety after the attempted use of the law against pro-life pastor Mark Houck, who was arrested last year over an incident that took place in 2021 outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Pennsylvania. Houck and his underaged son participated in a silent prayer protest outside the clinic, at which point a Planned Parenthood escort, an older man, came outside and began harassing the Houcks. Even as Houck and his son attempted to walk away, the man continued following them, violating their personal space as he hurled insults and threats at Houck and his son; Houck eventually shoved the man away in self-defense.
The case was initially brought before a federal judge shortly after the incident took place, with the judge dismissing it altogether as an open-and-shut example of self-defense. But in 2022, after the DOJ suddenly and inexplicably reopened the case against Houck, the FBI sent over two dozen armed agents to Houck’s home to violently arrest him in front of his wife and children, pointing guns at his family as they did so. The incident drew widespread outrage, and Houck was eventually acquitted by a Pennsylvania jury.
Meanwhile, the Biden Administration has been accused of maintaining a double-standard when it comes to violent pro-abortion activists. In the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year by the Supreme Court, there were dozens of incidents of violence against pro-life pregnancy centers and individual activists, with clinics being firebombed and activists being targeted for harassment at their own homes. While over 30 pro-life activists were targeted by the Biden DOJ in 2022, just two pro-abortion activists have been charged in the same period of time.