The Department of Justice has indicted eight pro-life activists for allegedly blocking access to a Michigan abortion clinic.
The activists, if convicted, could face up to 11 years in prison and $350,000 in fines for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
“According to court documents, Calvin Zastrow, Chester Gallagher, Heather Idoni, Caroline Davis, Joel Curry, Justin Phillips, Eva Edl and Eva Zastrow are charged with engaging in a civil rights conspiracy and with violating the FACE Act in connection with an August 2020 blockade of a reproductive health care clinic in Sterling Heights, Michigan,” the DOJ said in a press release. “In addition, Idoni and Edl were also charged with violating the FACE Act in connection with an April 2021 blockade of a reproductive health care clinic in Saginaw, Michigan.”
According to the federal grand jury indictment, in August 2020, the activists “engaged in a conspiracy to prevent the Sterling Heights clinic from providing, and patients there from receiving reproductive health services.” It noted that the action was advertised and live-streamed on social media.
“The indictment also alleges that all eight defendants violated the FACE Act by using physical obstruction to intimidate and interfere with the Sterling Heights clinic’s employees and patients, because the clinic’s employees were providing, and the patients were seeking, reproductive health services,” the DOJ press release continued.
Eight Defendants Indicted in Michigan for Obstructing a Reproductive Health Services Facility: The Justice Department announced an indictment charging eight people with federal civil rights offenses and violations of Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrance… https://t.co/PYhAkQhgBI
— FBI Detroit (@FBIDetroit) February 23, 2023
Additionally, the indictment claims that on April 16, 2021, Idoni and Edl “again used physical obstruction to intimidate and interfere with patients and employees of the Saginaw clinic because the clinic’s employees were providing, and patients were seeking, reproductive health services.”
The agency claims that Curry told a woman who claimed to be there picking up birth control that, “We’re not letting anybody in.”
“The longer they talk with us, the better the opportunity we have to see women and children rescued,” Gallagher said, according to the complaint. “And that’s what obstructing the door of an abortion clinic is about and why it’s so successful. We are here blocking access so the doors can’t open.”
Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote, told Fox News Digital in a statement that the indictment announcement “further confirms that this Administration will spare no expense or resource when it comes to hunting down pro-life Americans.”
“The shame is that they have no interest in equally pursuing pro-abortion domestic criminals that have vandalized and desecrated hundreds of churches and pregnancy care centers,” Burch added. “The Department of Justice should not play favorites when enforcing the law, yet that seems to be the new policy.”