Pro-Lifers Face Federal Prison For Praying At Clinic

A peaceful demonstration may result in eleven years of federal prison time for six pro-life activists armed with nothing but prayers and Bibles. In March 2021, the defendants gathered in a hallway on the second floor of a Tennessee office building where the Carafem Health Center Clinic is located. Their Federal crimes included singing hymns, praying, and asking women not to have abortions.

Their formal charges are violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) and conspiring against rights. A jury in the Fred D. Thompson federal courthouse in Nashville, Tennessee is now deliberating after the four-day trial.

Lawyers for the defendants made numerous arguments that their clients’ intentions were to be persuasive, not threatening or intimidating. The defendants were offering the women entering the clinic help “consistent with their religious beliefs,” one lawyer argued. They noted that the defendants would have carried weapons rather than Bibles and shouted rather than prayed if their purposes were violent. In response to the government’s argument that the size of the crowd was evidence of their aim to threaten, the defense countered that this could set a troubling precedent for freedom of assembly.

Federal prosecutor Amanda Klopf made the bizarre argument that “something is not peaceful if laws are broken.” Perhaps Ms. Klopf is not familiar with the concept of “civil disobedience”, in which laws perceived as unjust are violated in a non-violent manner.

The incident occurred two months into the Biden Administration, which is likely the most aggressively pro-abortion in history. Under Biden, many ordinary citizens with no criminal history have faced raids in their suburban family homes as a result of their pro-life beliefs.

The selective enforcement of the FACE Act has been noted as well, in that pro-life crisis pregnancy clinics were vandalized following the Supreme Court Dobbs decision that overturned Roe V Wade— yet no arrests were ever made. A radical pro-abortion group called Jane’s Revenge even claimed credit for the attacks. These clinics, which provide medical and financial assistance for women who seek alternatives to abortion, are also nominally protected from violence under the FACE Act.

The “abortion distortion” is of stark note here, especially in light of a $10 million judgment awarded to violent left-wing Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots just days ago. This was in connection to the 2020 George Floyd riots. The behavior of the Seattle protestors was in sharp contrast to the six peaceful pro-life witnesses in Tennessee. However, BLM’s political aims are in line with the current acceptable political narrative, while those of pro-life activists are not.

The FACE Act was signed by pro-abortion Democrat President Bill Clinton in 1994, with pro-abortion Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) being leading sponsors.