Pro-Life? Go To Jail! Peaceful Protestor Get 5 Years Behind Bars From Liberal Judge!

Written by John Roberts.

Lauren Handy, a pro-life activist, is facing a harsh reality. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, appointed by Clinton, sentenced Handy to nearly five years in prison. Handy’s crime? Peacefully protesting at a late-term abortion clinic in Washington, D.C.

Handy’s sentence includes four years and nine months in prison, plus three years of supervised release. This heavy sentence has shocked Republicans and pro-life advocates alike. Many argue it’s an extreme punishment for someone standing up for the unborn.

The Thomas More Society, which defended Handy, plans to appeal the conviction. They aim to overturn the decision and challenge the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) under which Handy was convicted.

The Peaceful Protest

Handy, 30, is the director of activism for Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU). PAAU’s website states they are dedicated to equality, non-violence, and ending elective abortion. Handy and four other activists were convicted for blocking access to the Washington Surgi-Clinic in October 2020.

The FACE Act makes it illegal to obstruct access to abortion clinics or intimidate women seeking abortions. The Biden DOJ claimed Handy led a “clinic blockade” that was live-streamed. Defendants allegedly used their bodies, furniture, chains, and ropes to block the clinic entrance.

Legal analysts from the Heritage Foundation argue that the FACE Act doesn’t prohibit peaceful protests protected by the First Amendment. Handy’s defense described the event as a rescue mission to save unborn children from illegal late-term abortions. However, the judge barred this defense, stating, “A defendant may not don a vigilante’s hood.”

The Sentencing Decision

The Biden DOJ requested a 6.5-year sentence, labeling Handy as a mastermind of the clinic blockade. Handy’s defense, however, asked for a one-year sentence, highlighting the non-violent nature of the protest. The Clinton-appointed judge decided on a nearly five-year sentence, expressing concern that Handy’s actions delayed clinic access for patients.

Judge Kollar-Kotelly claimed Handy’s views took precedence over the needs of clinic patients, including a woman in labor. The judge also dismissed the idea that Handy was punished for her beliefs, stating, “The law does not protect violent nor obstructive conduct, nor should it.”

Prosecutors convinced the judge that the protest was not peaceful, citing a nurse who sprained her ankle during the event. This argument swayed the judge’s decision, leading to the severe sentence.

The Outcry

The sentence has sparked outrage among Republicans and pro-life activists. Live Action president Lila Rose said Handy was sentenced for giving roses and resources to women at an abortion facility, while abortionists go unpunished. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) called the sentence a reminder of the DOJ’s weaponization against pro-life citizens. He urged House Republicans to defund the DOJ and repeal the FACE Act.

Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America, called the sentence a “tragic injustice.” She argued that the FACE Act is unjust and unconstitutional. Martin Cannon, senior counsel at the Thomas More Society, stated that Handy and her co-defendants were unified in nonviolence and did not deserve such a harsh punishment.

The Bigger Picture

Steve Crampton, senior counsel at the Thomas More Society, emphasized that the discovery of late-term aborted babies by Handy and her associates confirmed her concerns. Crampton argued that abortionist Cesare Santangelo likely violated the Born Alive Infants Protection Act by not providing care to infants born alive after failed abortions.

The sentence has ignited a debate over the FACE Act and its use against pro-life activists. Many believe the law is being weaponized to silence those who speak out against abortion. Handy’s case could set a precedent for future protests and the legal battles surrounding them.

Our Take

Lauren Handy’s sentence is a glaring example of how the justice system can be unfair to pro-life activists. The punishment does not fit the peaceful nature of her protest. It highlights the need to reevaluate laws like the FACE Act, which are being used to target individuals standing up for their beliefs. Repealing such laws and ensuring fair treatment for all should be a priority.

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