“Joe Biden’s DOJ:
Intimidate Supreme Court Justices at their homes? No problem.
Stand up for pro-life causes? ARRESTED.”
That’s how House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan reacted to the conviction of anti-abortion activists — on charges of obstruction and criminal conspiracy — for staging a prayerful sit-in at a notorious late-term abortion clinic in our nation’s capital.
The left and its media acolytes love to ridicule “conspiracy theories” — except when claiming “conspiracy” serves their purposes, from Hillary Clinton’s lies about her husband’s serial sexual misconduct (“a vast, right-wing conspiracy”), to just about every election they lose, to criminalizing opponents of their destructive agenda.
The eight defendants — five tried and convicted in August, three more in September — now face up to 11 years in prison, with possible fines up to $350,000, having been charged under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act — a Clinton-era law enacted precisely to equate peaceful anti-abortion civil disobedience with violence, enabling such draconian sentencing.
And U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a Clinton appointee, followed the script. In what Thomas More Society senior counsel Steve Crampton labeled “an outrage,” she pronounced the sit-in a “violent” crime, and clapped the defendants into prison immediately. Normally, they would have remained free pending sentencing, able to get their affairs in order and spend time with their families before being incarcerated.
Crampton emphasized the defendants’ commitment to nonviolence. And another defense attorney, Catholic Vote reported, pointed to video evidence showing only abortion clinic staffers engaging in actual violence — one assaulting the anti-abortion protesters with a broomstick.
Of course, the real violence takes place every day inside what the Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles termed an “infanticide factory” — where, according to Crampton, abortionist Cesare Santangelo is known to do “very late-term abortions” including some in which he “induces labor” and the baby is killed after birth.
In an undercover video defendants were not allowed to show in court, Santangelo stated that he lets babies die without treatment if they are born alive during an attempted abortion — a clear violation of the federal Born Alive Infant Protection law.
The federal charges stemmed from an October 2020 protest in which the activists — including my brother — entered Santangelo’s Washington Surgi-clinic, several chaining themselves to chairs, as they sat in and prayed for several hours.
Arrested by local authorities, they were questioned at the time by the FBI. But no federal charges were forthcoming — until a year-and-a-half later, when one of the defendants, Lauren Handy, notified authorities that she had discovered the bodies of aborted babies in Santangelo’s trash, including five who were clearly at or near full term.
The FBI reacted not by investigating Santangelo for possibly violating federal laws against infanticide and/or late term abortions, but by suddenly arresting Handy and eight others for the sit-in 17 months earlier.
“The DOJ,” Sen. Ted Cruz told the Daily Signal, “has been aggressively targeting Handy since she and others blew the whistle on an abortion doctor in Washington, D.C., who was engaging in illegal, late-term abortions.”
Mainstream media — while never showing the gruesome photos of Santangelo’s handiwork — maliciously portray Handy as some kind of ghoulish fetus collector, rather than the courageous whistleblower she is.
Cruz contrasted the Justice Department’s harsh treatment of pro-lifers with its “hands-off” approach to real violence against anti-abortion centers.
He cited the Justice Department’s “anemic” response to at least 88 U.S. pregnancy centers having “been firebombed, vandalized, or set ablaze in the wake of the Dobbs decision” overturning Roe v. Wade.
Only “a single FACE Act case” has been “prosecuted against these criminals,” Cruz told the Daily Signal. In “stark contrast, the DOJ has brought the entire weight and force of the FBI against those that engage in non-violent protest at abortion clinics.”
At trial, even the Washington Post noted the parade of Planned Parenthood donors and pro-abortion activists dominating the pool from which the jury was selected.
That jury was not allowed to see any evidence — photos of the late-term aborted babies found in Santangelo’s trash, his videotaped assurance that he does not try to save babies born alive — documenting the horrors the defendants were trying to prevent, the lives they were trying to save, and the ongoing crimes they were alleging and trying to expose.
In a flagrant double standard, LifeSite’s Jim Hale reported that an employee of Santangelo’s abortion mill was permitted to invoke her Catholic faith while testifying against the defendants; yet defense attorney Robert Dunn was sharply rebuked by the judge for challenging the witness’s mischaracterization of Catholic teaching.
Please pray for these courageous prisoners championing the unborn — Lauren Handy, William Goodman, John Hinshaw, Heather Idoni, Herb Geraghty, Joan Andrews Bell, Jean Marshall, Jonathan Darnell — and their loved ones. Pray for all the innocent pre-born children they, and the entire pro-life movement, are trying to protect.
And pray for our country — that our democracy may survive the current regime’s efforts to maximize its power and advance its agenda by weaponizing our system of justice and subverting our cherished American ideals of freedom and equality under the law.
For three decades, Rick Hinshaw has given voice to faith values in the public square, as a columnist, then editor of The Long Island Catholic; communications director for the Catholic League and the New York State Catholic Conference; co-host of "The Catholic Forum," on cable. He is now editor of his own blog, "Reading the Signs." Visit Rick’s home page at rickhinshaw.com. Read Rick Hinshaw's Reports — More Here.
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