Last updated on February 2nd, 2024 at 04:39 am
The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act was invoked to convict six pro-life advocates charged with federal felonies following a peaceful protest held in 2021 at an abortion facility near Nashville, Tennessee. The Carafem Health Center Clinic in Mt. Joliet was the host of the March 2021 protest, known as a “rescue,” and later had to suspend performing abortions to comply with Tennessee’s pro-life legislation following the 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade.
The protestors facing conviction include Chester Gallagher, Heather Idoni, Calvin Zastrow, Coleman Boyd, Dennis Green, and Paul Vaughn. They stand to face up to 10 1/2 years behind bars with fines amounting to $260,000. Caroline Davis, a former protestor, had pleaded guilty to the charges and reportedly cooperated with the government by testifying against her co-defendants.
These developments have sparked reactions from various corners. The protest had been relatively tranquil with singing, praying, and some strategic placement of protestors to impede access. On the one hand, Thomas More Society senior counsel, Steve Crampton, expressed disappointment and frustration echoed by many in the pro-life community. On the other hand, Senator Mike Lee accused the Biden administration of a double standard in implementing the FACE Act.
Investigation into these alleged instances of selective enforcement of the FACE Act by federal intelligence agencies, specifically towards pro-lifers, will be carried out by the “Weaponization of Government” Select Committee established by the Republican U.S. House of Representatives in January 2023.