DOJ Seeks Massive Sentence For Pro-Life Activists Using KKK-Era Charge to Extend Prison Time

In an unsettling twist of judicial overreach, pro-life activists in Tennessee find themselves entangled in the crosshairs of an archaic federal law, originally designed to dismantle the Ku Klux Klan’s reign of terror post-Civil War.

Their crime? Engaging in peaceful protest through prayer and hymns outside an abortion clinic in 2021.

This application of the law by the Department of Justice (DOJ) under President Joe Biden’s administration, aiming to impose a staggering 11-year sentence on these individuals, is both egregious and indicative of a broader, alarming trend.

The DOJ’s strategy involves leveraging the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, a law signed in 1994 by President Bill Clinton with the intent to prohibit obstructive conduct against reproductive health services.

Yet, this law’s application has strayed far from its purportedly neutral stance, as evidenced by the DOJ and FBI’s recent track record of disproportionately targeting pro-life activists.

The charges against these six activists also include “conspiracy against rights,” a serious felony under the so-called “KKK Act,” which could lead to ten years in prison on top of the FACE Act’s penalties.

This move to classify peaceful protestors alongside violent conspirators is not only a misapplication of justice but a clear signal of the DOJ’s intent to intimidate and silence pro-life advocacy.

Critics argue that this aggressive prosecutorial approach is emblematic of a justice system weaponized against ideological opponents.

Andrew Bath from the Thomas More Society and policy adviser Jonah Wendt have vocalized their concerns, noting an unprecedented escalation in the DOJ’s tactics to suppress pro-life activities through fear and punitive measures.

The selective enforcement of the FACE Act, particularly in light of over 100 attacks on pregnancy resource centers and churches, further underlines a biased application of justice, disproportionately targeting pro-life advocates while neglecting violence against pro-life institutions.

The Biden administration’s DOJ, under the guidance of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke, has evidently adopted a policy of pairing FACE Act charges with conspiracy against rights to amplify the severity of sentences, a trend that was virtually non-existent before Clarke’s tenure.

This approach not only distorts the original intent of these laws but also exploits them to exert undue pressure on pro-life activists, effectively chilling their constitutional right to peaceful protest.

Moreover, the DOJ’s response to inquiries about this disproportionate application of the FACE Act and its refusal to address the overt targeting of pro-life activists only serves to deepen suspicions of a politically motivated agenda.

Despite public outcry and legislative efforts led by figures like Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) to repeal the FACE Act or challenge its constitutionality, the DOJ remains steadfast in its course.

This situation goes beyond mere legal wrangling; it is a poignant reflection of a society deeply divided over the issue of abortion, with federal powers being marshaled to quell one side of the debate. The implications of such actions are profound, affecting not only the individuals directly involved but also the foundational principles of free speech and peaceful assembly.

The use of federal laws to prosecute pro-life activists in this manner is a clear indication of a troubling shift towards a more authoritarian application of justice, one that prioritizes political expediency over fair and impartial enforcement of the law.

It is a development that all who value civil liberties, regardless of their position on abortion, should view with concern and scrutiny.