Jury Finds Pro-Life Activists Guilty After 2020 Abortion Clinic Protest


Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Kate Anderson Contributor
Font Size:

A jury determined Tuesday that pro-life activist Lauren Handy and her associates are guilty of violating federal law by obstructing access to an abortion clinic, according to WUSA9, a local media outlet.

Handy, along with activists John Hinshaw, Heather Idoni, Will Goodman and Herb Geraghty, was charged in March 2022 by the Department of Justice for violating the Freedom of Access To Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which “prohibits threats of force, obstruction and property damage intended to interfere with reproductive health care services,” according to the law. The trial began on Aug. 16 and after nearly two days of deliberating, the jury determined that Handy, Hinshaw, Idoni, Goodman and Geraghty were guilty on all counts, WSUA9 reported. (RELATED: Judge Dismisses Claim That Activist Who Blocked Abortion Clinic Acted In Defense Of An Unborn Person)

“We are, of course, disappointed with the outcome,” Martin Cannon, senior counsel with the Thomas More Society, said in a prepared statement. “Ms. Handy has been condemned for her efforts to protect the lives of innocent pre-born human beings, something she should never have been arrested for. We are preparing an appeal and will continue to defend those who fight for life against a Biden Department of Justice that seems intent on prosecuting those who decry abortion and present it as it is—the intentional killing of children in utero.”

The jury found each defendant guilty of two counts of conspiracy against rights and violating the FACE Act, according to WUSA9. Handy and the others now face a potential “maximum sentence of of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $350,000,” according to the DOJ.

In 2020, Handy gained access to the Washington Surgi-Clinic in Washington, D.C., by reportedly scheduling an appointment under the name “Hazel Jenkins,” according to WUSA9. Handy and several other activists then proceeded to chain and rope off the entrance to the clinic in order to prevent abortions from taking place.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sanjay Patel argued during the trial that the whole event, which he called an “invasion” and a “blockade,” was orchestrated by Handy, according to WUSA9. The judge had to remind the gallery on multiple occasions to not interfere with the jury or speak with witnesses, according to WUSA9. One individual attempted to make the sign of the cross at a witness and said “Hail Mary” to her in a hallway.

Attorneys with the Thomas Moore Society wanted to make the argument that she was acting out of a desire to defend unborn children. U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, however, said in her decision on Aug. 7 that the claim was not “legally viable” and that she would not condone citizens donning a “vigilante’s hood.”

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.