Elderly Pro-Lifers Face Federal Charges For Blocking Abortion Clinic Door

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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Eight pro-life activists, two of whom are elderly, have been indicted on federal charges for blocking the entrance to an abortion clinic in Sterling Heights, Michigan, in August 2020, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday.

Calvin Zastrow, Chester Gallagher, Heather Idoni, Caroline Davis, Joel Curry, Justin Phillips, Eva Edl and Eva Zastrow are facing charges for conspiracy and violations of the FACE Act, a federal law that bars interfering with a person because they are attempting to access “reproductive health care,” according to the DOJ. Two of those indicted were also charged with FACE Act violations related to an April 2021 blockade of an abortion clinic in Saginaw, Michigan.

Edl, who is in her late 80s, was charged in both incidents; Gallagher, who is in his mid-70s, was charged only in the 2020 incident. Gallagher allegedly advertised the 2020 clinic blockade on social media, and on the day of the protest, the eight defendants stood in front of the clinic door, preventing health care professionals from performing abortions and other services and preventing patients from undergoing them, according to the DOJ.

The DOJ did not specify what penalties the defendants may face, but defendents in a very similar recent case face up to 11 years in prison and $350,000 in fines.

Gallagher, Edl, Idoni, Calvin and Eva Zastrow and Davis were all previously charged with conspiring to prevent an abortion clinic from providing abortion services and blocking patients from undergoing abortions on March 5, 2021.

The Department of Justice has been pursuing several cases against nonviolent pro-life protesters over the past year, but the agency has been making little progress in the investigations of hundreds of incidents targeting crisis pregnancy centers, pro-life advocacy groups and churches in the leadup and aftermath of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, including threats, vandalism and three firebombings. The DOJ announced the indictment of two left-wing activists who had allegedly spray-painted threats on pro-life pregnancy resource centers in January in the first known indictment of pro-abortion activists behind the wave of pro-abortion attacks that began in May 2022.

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

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