‘Abuse Of Power’: Pro-Life Demonstrator Speaks Out After His Indictment On Federal Charges

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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Herb Geraghty, a pro-life activist who was indicted Friday over charges related to an alleged blockade of an abortion clinic, criticized the Biden administration for using federal law to target peaceful pro-life demonstrators in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Geraghty allegedly participated in a physical blockade of an abortion clinic in Washington, D.C. Oct. 22, 2020 and is being charged with conspiracy against rights and violation of the FACE Act, which makes it a federal crime to interfere with someone because they are a provider of “reproductive health care.” The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dramatically increased its enforcement of the FACE Act against anti-abortion demonstrators under the Biden administration, particularly in light of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in June, Roger Severino, former DOJ Office of Civil Rights director, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: Has The FBI Arrested Any Suspects In 150 Attacks On Pro-Life Groups And Churches?)

“What we’re talking about here is nonviolent pro-life activity,” Geraghty told the DCNF. “This is something that people should care about because it’s showing an abuse of power from the Biden administration targeting many peaceful pro-life activists,” he said. “For me, the anti-abortion cause is not somethings that’s religious. I’m an atheist. Its not necessarily a right wing opinion. I work with the Progressive Antiabortion Uprising. Many people believe abortion should be illegal and it should not be normalized to have this mass industrialized slaughter of unborn human beings.”

Geraghty and eight others were accused of forcefully entering an abortion clinic and blocking two doors with furniture, chains, ropes and their bodies while a tenth defendant livestreamed the event. Each of them faces up to 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $260,000, according to the indictment.

This is the latest of a series of federal indictments related to anti-abortion protests and demonstrations under the Biden administration: at least 22 peaceful pro-life activists have been indicted under the FACE Act in 2022.

There’s been a shocking increase in the number of FACE Act investigations, prosecutions and overcharging in terms of the number of years they’re threatening people with,” Severino told the DCNF. “The DOJ is charging people over alleged violations that would not ever merit such a heavy hand it if were in any other context, but because it has to do with abortion, they want to throw the book at pro-lifers to scare people from exercising their first amendment rights.”

Another pro-life activist, Mark Houck, was arrested by the FBI on Sept. 23 after a 2021 altercation between Houck and a volunteer outside an abortion clinic. Dozens of federal agents stormed his house, pointed guns at the parents and in the direction of their seven children as they began screaming and begging the officers not to take their father away, according to his wife.

“They increased enforcement under the Obama administration compared to the Bush years to target pro-lifers, but now it doesn’t even compare,” Severino added. “They’ve put it on steroids. The number of investigations, the overcharging, the use of armed officers late at night scaring little children and taking their fathers away in handcuffs at the point of a gun.”

Geraghty said the targeting of pro-lifers should concern everyone, calling it an abuse of power against peaceful demonstrators.

“It’s clear right now that pro-life activists and leaders are being targeted in a political persecution from the Department of Justice under Merrick Garland,” Geraghty told the DCNF. “I think that it is incredibly concerning to see the DOJ used in this way, as a political weapon against dissidents, particularly when those dissidents are people who simply believe in the right to life for all human beings.”

The Department of Justice did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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