Thursday 8 February 2024

Pro-Life Leaders Urge Republican Leadership To Repeal FACE Act After Conviction Of Peaceful Pro-Lifers

 A coalition of pro-life leaders are urging House Republican leadership to take up legislation that would repeal the FACE Act in the wake of the conviction of six pro-lifers over a peaceful demonstration at a Tennessee abortion facility.

The letter, first obtained by The Daily Signal, asks House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) to take up legislation to repeal the FACE Act, a Clinton-era law that criminalizes the use of force or threats of force that prevent someone from accessing an abortion facility.

“In the aftermath of additional pro-life activists being convicted by the Biden administration under the FACE Act for peacefully protesting outside an abortion business, we respectfully urge you to take immediate legislative action to protect peaceful pro-life activists from the Biden administration’s weaponized Department of Justice and an unconstitutional law,” the letter, headed up by conservative group Advancing American Freedom, said.

The letter is signed by Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America, Tom McClusky of CatholicVote, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Tom Brejcha of the Thomas More Society, Ryan Anderson of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Lila Rose of Live Action, and Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America.

The letter noted that the FACE Act has been used almost exclusively to prosecute pro-lifers though the law is also supposed to protect churches and pregnancy centers.

“We believe that the FACE Act is unconstitutional,” the letter said. “It wrongly usurps police powers reserved to the states by the Constitution and allows the Department of Justice to swoop in to punish its political enemies, rather than equally applying the law. Additionally, the FACE Act protects abortion, when taking the life of the unborn is no longer and never rightly was a constitutional right.”


Calls to repeal the FACE Act have amplified after Chet Gallagher, Coleman Boyd, Heather Idoni, Cal Zastrow, Paul Vaughn, and Dennis Green face over ten years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines after being convicted of violating the FACE Act and conspiracy and against rights secured by the FACE by a jury in federal court in Nashville.

The six were indicted by the Department of Justice after a protest that took place in a hallway outside of a Mount Juliet abortion provider on March 5, 2021. On that day, a group of demonstrators gathered on the second floor of an office building in the hallway outside the Carafem Health Center Clinic. The group prayed, sang hymns, and urged women showing up to the clinic not to get abortions.

Legislation to repeal was previously introduced by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and there have been efforts to renew congressional consideration.

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