(DailyVantage.com) – Six pro-life protesters could face 11 years in prison for their protest in an abortion clinic in Tennessee in 2021.
The defendants – Mississippi native Coleman Boyd, Tennessee residents Paul Vaughn and Chet Gallagher, Michigan natives Heather Idoni and Cal Zastrow, and Dennis Green of Virginia – have already been found guilty of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, or FACE Act, as well as civil rights conspiracy charges.
The FACE Act bars individuals and groups from engaging in behavior that is considered “violent, threatening, damaging, and obstructive” that aims to “injure, intimidate, or interfere” with a person’s right to look for, get, and provide reproductive health services.
On March 5, 2021, the protesters stood outside a hallway of Carafem Health Center Clinic, an abortion provider in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. The group was praying, singing hymns, as well as encouraging women who showed up to reconsider getting an abortion.
The conspiracy charge carries the heaviest penalties, which could see the six pay fines of up to $350,000 and jail time of up to 11 years. The violation of the FACE Act charge carries a maximum fine of $10,000 and a year in prison. Sentencing for the defendants has been scheduled for July this year.
The charging of the pro-life protesters is ostensibly part of a campaign by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that targets conservative activists, who the government apparently deems to be “radicalization suspects,” according to a report last year released by Fox News. Citing documents obtained by the America First Legal Foundation, the report said that the Office of Terrorism and Violence Prevention arm of the DHS proposed creating training videos and materials that would include suburban pro-life activist mothers as possible targets of “radicalization”.
Early last year, the Biden administration also indicted eight other pro-life activists for violations of the FACE Act.
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