Biden's DOJ sues pro-life organizations and activists over Ohio protests

The lawsuit by the DOJ alleges that the defendants violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act during two protests. If found guilty, the defendants could face fines amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.

Biden's DOJ sues pro-life organizations and activists over Ohio protests
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
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The U.S. Justice Department is intensifying its actions against pro-life activists, announcing a lawsuit against two pro-life organizations and seven activists. The individuals are alleged to have participated in the blockade of abortion facilities in Ohio in June 2021.

The lawsuit by the DOJ alleges that the defendants violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act during two protests. If found guilty, the defendants could face fines amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.

“Obstructing people from accessing reproductive health care and physically obstructing providers from offering it are unlawful,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clark, who noted that Congress passed the FACE Act 30 years ago in response to violence, threats, and physical obstruction at reproductive health clinics nationwide.

As detailed by the Daily Wire, the defendants include the organizations Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and Red Rose Rescue, as well as seven individuals: Laura Gies, Lauren Handy, Clara McDonald, Monica Miller, Christopher Moscinski, Jay Smith, and Audrey Whipple. The charges stem from protests at Northeast Ohio Women's Center (NOWC) in Cuyahoga Falls and Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio's Bedford Heights Surgery Center (BHSC) in Bedford Heights.

During the protests, the defendants entered and surrounded the abortion facilities, sitting, lying down, and kneeling in front of doors and walkways. They also urged women visiting the centers not to proceed with abortions. Police eventually arrested the protesters for trespassing.

The criminal complaint reveals that Gies had previously discussed her desire to see abortion providers shut down, stating that "God wins when an abortion clinic cannot operate."

The Justice Department is seeking fines of up to $20,516 for first-time FACE Act violations and up to $30,868 for subsequent violations. Additionally, the DOJ has requested that the defendants pay $5,000 in damages to those harmed by their alleged criminal actions.

One of the defendants, Lauren Handy, was sentenced to nearly five years in prison last week for her role in a protest at a Washington, D.C., abortion facility in October 2020. She received 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release after being convicted of violating the FACE Act and conspiracy against rights.

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