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Judge hands pro-life activist huge prison sentence

A judge's gavel. (Dreamstime/TNS)
May 18, 2024

A U.S. District Court judge sentenced a pro-life activist to 57 months in prison on Tuesday for blocking access to an abortion clinic in Washington, D.C., in 2020.

According to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly sentenced 30-year-old pro-life activist Lauren Handy to 57 months in prison, as well as three years of supervised release.

Kollar-Kotelly also sentenced 54-year-old William Goodman to 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release and 69-year-old John Hinshaw to 21 months in prison and three years of supervised release. The press release noted that all three pro-life activists had been convicted in August 2023 of conspiracy and violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.

“These defendants conspired to use force to prevent fellow citizens from exercising rights protected by law,” Matthew Graves, a U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, said. “People cannot resort to using force and intimidation to prevent others from engaging in lawful activity simply because they disagree with the law.”

In Tuesday’s sentencing, Kollar-Kotelly ruled that Handy’s prison sentence will include the nine months she has already served, reducing the remaining sentence to roughly four additional years, according to The Daily Caller.

READ MORE: Video: Biden admin convicts pro-lifers over peaceful protest

The Daily Caller reported that Handy scheduled an appointment with the Washington Surgi-Clinic in 2020 under the name “Hazel Jenkins.” By gaining access to the abortion clinic, Handy and a group of other pro-life activists from multiple states were able to block access to the entrance of the building in an effort to prevent abortions at the clinic.

“According to the evidence, Handy, Hinshaw, and Goodman – along with their co-conspirators – forcefully entered the clinic and set about blockading two clinic doors using their bodies, furniture, chains, and ropes,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia stated.

The press release explained that the incident was live-streamed after the pro-life activists had established a “blockade.” The U.S. Attorney’s Office also claimed that the pro-life activists violated the FACE Act by “using a physical obstruction to injure, intimidate and interfere with the clinic’s employees and a patient, because they were providing or obtaining reproductive health services.”

Following Tuesday’s sentencing, Steve Crampton, who represented Handy and is a senior counsel at the Thomas Moore Society, told Fox News, “This is not the America I know. Not only did the judge read out this really harsh sentence, but she had the audacity to lecture Lauren Handy about her lack of compassion for the women who were going in to kill their children.”