Pro-Life Activists Face Years Behind Bars Over Peaceful Protest

( – Several pro-life activists are facing more than a decade in prison for blocking entry to an abortion clinic in March 2021. The six activists, who range from ages 51 to 73, were convicted of a felony conspiracy against rights charge, which carries a possible sentence of 11 years in prison.

In October 2022, the Biden administration announced criminal charges against 11 activists who held a demonstration at Carafem Health Center in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. The activists prayed, sang hymns, and urged women not to receive abortions.

Six of the activists were found guilty of a felony conspiracy against rights charge and a misdemeanor violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. The felony charge could lead to an 11-year prison sentence and fines up to $250,000.

Four other participants in the demonstration are awaiting trial on FACE Act charges, which carry a sentence of up to one year in prison and $10,000 in fines. One other activist, Caroline Davis, pleaded guilty in 2023 and cooperated with prosecutors as a witness.

The FACE Act, signed into law by former US President Bill Clinton, criminalizes the use of threats, physical force, or physical obstruction to injure, intimidate, or interfere with people seeking to obtain an abortion. The defendants “knowingly chose” to violate laws with which they disagreed, the Justice Department said.

A sentencing hearing for the case is scheduled for July 2. Attorneys for one of the convicted activists said that they intend to appeal the guilty verdict.

The case garnered significant media attention due to the lengthy prison sentences faced by the peaceful activists. Elon Musk commented on the case, claiming that the possible sentence is “excessive” for a non-violent offense.

In September 2023, US Congressman Chip Roy introduced a bill to repeal the FACE Act, which the lawmaker claims has been weaponized by the Biden administration to target pro-life activists. For now, though, the activists continue to face imprisonment, having been convicted for demonstrating their convictions.

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