Six pro-lifers were found guilty on Tuesday after the Biden administration charged them over a peaceful protest at a Tennessee abortion facility in 2021. They face up to 10.5 years in prison.
The pro-life activists were accused by the Department of Justice of violating the FACE Act and civil rights conspiracy for 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 to not get abortions.
Those on trial included Chet Gallagher of Tennessee, Coleman Boyd of Mississippi, Heather Idoni of Michigan, Cal Zastrow of Michigan, Paul Vaughn of Tennessee, and Dennis Green of Virginia.
All six defendants were found guilty of both counts. They are expected to be sentenced in July.
The conspiracy charge can be punished with up to 10.5 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $260,000 while the FACE Act charge can lead to one year in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The verdict was delivered on the fifth day of the trial, which took place at the Fred D. Thompson courthouse in Nashville. The case was overseen by Judge Aleta Trauger, appointed to the court in 1998 by then-President Bill Clinton.
One of the government’s key witnesses was Caroline Davis, a woman who was arrested with the group at Carafem. During her testimony, Davis claimed that she had a change of heart about attending the protest and that her “rational side” was “in the toilet” at the time of her participation. She said that she changed her mind “over time” and that being indicted by the federal government “terrified” her.
Video of the demonstration showed the group singing songs like “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and “Onward Christian Soldiers,” while others showed members of the group talking to police.
Another video showed one participant telling another to speak “in love” to a man with his girlfriend who had shown up at Carafem and that someone’s “baby is a gift from God.”