The Department of Justice, under President Biden’s administration, secured a jury’s conviction of five pro-life activists on Tuesday. The activists, identified as Lauren Handy, 28, John Hinshaw, 67, Heather Idoni, 61, William Goodman, 52, and Herb Geraghty, 25, were found guilty of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) during a demonstration at a contentious abortion clinic. They now face a potential sentence of 11 years in prison, along with a hefty $350,000 fine each.
The verdict has sparked outrage among conservatives who believe that the trial was marred by bias and that these activists were unfairly targeted. Lila Rose, founder of Live Action, criticized the trial, stating, “From the beginning, this trial has been a sham with a completely biased pro-abortion judge who has made a mockery of our justice system. This decision will be appealed, and we demand it be overturned. These activists are heroes, and the Department of Justice has acted capriciously and illegitimately.”
On “The Michael Knowles Show,” Daily Wire host Michael Knowles condemned the convictions, characterizing the activists as “political prisoners” who were being unjustly punished for their demonstration against abortion. Knowles emphasized that these activists were merely advocating for the defense of unborn children.
The activists had engaged in a sit-in demonstration at the Washington Surgi-Clinic, a late-term abortion facility in Washington, D.C., in October 2020. During the protest, they sang songs, prayed, and used ropes and chains to block doors inside the building, all in an effort to “delay the murder of kids,” according to their statement. The FACE Act, enacted during the Clinton era, makes it a federal offense to injure, intimidate, or interfere with individuals due to their association with abortion providers.
The Washington Surgi-Clinic has been a source of controversy, with undercover footage alleging questionable practices by staff, such as administering Xanax to women before meeting with an abortionist and securing final consent. Additionally, in March 2022, authorities were called to Lauren Handy’s home, one of the convicted activists, where they discovered the bodies of five prematurely aborted babies. Activists from the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) claimed they intercepted a box of aborted fetuses en route from the Washington Surgi-Clinic to the Curtis Bay Medical Waste Facility for incineration.
In response to the convictions, attorneys from the Thomas More Society filed an emergency motion with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking the reconsideration of Lauren Handy’s detention pending sentencing. They argued that Handy and the other activists had peacefully demonstrated, which they assert is a protected right. Martin Cannon, Senior Counsel at the Thomas More Society, contended that Handy was attempting to prevent live-birth abortions, which do not violate the FACE Act, and criticized the Biden administration for pursuing charges against those advocating for the protection of unborn children.