Pro-life activist sentenced to nearly five years in prison for D.C. abortion clinic protest

Lauren Handy and four other pro-life activists have been convicted for a sit-in at an abortion clinic in 2020.

Pro-life activist sentenced to nearly five years in prison for D.C. abortion clinic protest
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File
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A pro-life activist, Lauren Handy, has been sentenced to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release for her involvement in a protest at an abortion clinic. Handy protested the Washington Surgi-Clinic, a late-term abortion facility in Washington, D.C., in October 2020.

Handy, along with four other pro-life advocates, was prosecuted by the Biden administration for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act and conspiracy against rights, the Daily Wire reported.

During the sit-in, the protesters engaged in activities such as singing, praying, and physically blocking the staff entrance and doors inside the building using ropes and chains. Handy was represented by the Thomas More Society, which plans to appeal the sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

Martin Cannon, a senior counsel at the Thomas More Society, emphasized the nonviolent nature of the protest, stating, "They conspired to be peaceful. Yet, today, the Court granted the Biden Department of Justice its wish by sentencing Ms. Handy to 57 months — nearly five years in prison. For her efforts to peacefully protect the lives of innocent preborn human beings, Ms. Handy deserves thanks, not a gut-wrenching prison sentence."

The other demonstrators convicted include John Hinshaw, 67, Heather Idoni, 61, William Goodman, 52, and Herb Geraghty, 25.

Hinshaw received a 21-month prison sentence, while the others are set to be sentenced on Tuesday. Hinshaw expressed his disappointment with the court's decision, remarking, "I stand convicted, though guiltless. I take on the guilt of this judge. Accept my love for you, judge, as expiation for your guilt."

In a related incident, authorities were called to Handy's home in March 2022 to recover the bodies of five preemie-size aborted babies, which Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) activists claim were found in a box destined for incineration at the Curtis Bay Medical Waste Facility.

Despite attempts by D.C. authorities to quickly cremate the bodies, pressure from conservative legal groups, PAAU, and Republican lawmakers has delayed the process, with pro-life activists demanding further investigation into the circumstances surrounding the aborted children.

The case is part of a larger trend, as 10 other pro-life activists face prison time for a protest at a Tennessee abortion facility, with the Biden administration adding conspiracy against civil rights charges to the existing FACE Act charges to impose harsher penalties on the activists.

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