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Peaceful Pro-Life Protesters Convicted, Facing 11 Years in Prison

On Tuesday, six pro-life activists who engaged in a peaceful protest three years ago were convicted on federal charges and now face up to 11 years in prison.

As Breitbart reports, the Biden Administration first announced the charges against the group of peaceful protesters back in October of 2022, stemming from an incident on March 5th, 2021 in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. On that day, the group sat on the floor outside the entrance to the Carafem Health Center Clinic, located on the second floor of a larger office building, praying for the unborn babies being aborted inside the building, as well as singing hymns. They did not block the doorway or otherwise confront anyone going in or coming out of the clinic.

Nevertheless, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) charged them under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, a law which makes it a federal crime to block access to a medical clinic, including an abortion  facility.

The six who were convicted are: Coleman Boyd (51) of Bolton, Mississippi; Chester Gallagher (73) of Lebanon, Tennessee; Dennis Green (56) of Cumberland, Virginia; Heather Idoni (58) of Michigan; Paul Vaughn (55) of Centerville, Tennessee; and Calvin Zastrow (57) of Michigan. In addition to the FACE Act charges, these six were also convicted on the charge of felony conspiracy against rights, which carries the steeper penalty of 11 years in prison and individual fines of up to $250,000.

In addition, four other activists are still awaiting trial for charges relating solely to the FACE Act, without the additional “conspiracy” charge: Eva Edl (87) of Aiken South Carolina; Paul Place (24) of Centerville, Tennessee; Eva Zastro (24) of Dover, Arkansas; and James Zastro (25) of Eldon, Missouri. One other activist, 24-year-old Caroline Davis of Michigan, accepted a plea deal last year and agreed to testify for the government in its case.

The six are expected to have their sentencing sometime in July. The judge in the case was Judge Aleta Trauger, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton.

The outcome marks the latest example of the Biden DOJ’s systematic targeting of peaceful pro-life activists with extreme force and unwarranted heavy sentences. The most infamous example in recent memory is the arrest of Mark Houck, a pro-life pastor who faced prior charges under the FACE Act after he and his son were assaulted by a pro-abortion activist outside of a clinic

Although the charges were dismissed by a federal judge, the DOJ revived the charges and sent a team of armed agents to storm Houck’s house and arrest him at gunpoint, with his family present. He was eventually acquitted, and Houck is now running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 1st congressional district, emphasizing his persecution at the hands of the federal government.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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