Peaceful pro-life activist Lauren Handy has been sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison, plus three years’ probation, for her participation in a protest at an abortion clinic in Washington, D.C.

Two other pro-life activists were also given lengthy prison sentences for their role in the protest.

A federal jury in Washington, D.C. convicted Handy on Aug. 29, 2023, for violating the FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act and for “Conspiracy Against Rights.”

According to the Christian Post, on Oct. 22, 2020, Handy and nine other activists used chains, ropes and bike locks to tie themselves together, using their bodies to block access to the Washington Surgi-Clinic. They were attempting to prevent the clinic from performing abortions that day.

Handy and the other activists were concerned that the clinic’s abortionist, Cesare Santangelo, was likely violating the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by refusing to provide life-saving care to infants born alive after a failed abortion, and/or the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. The remains of several later-term aborted babies were discovered by Ms. Handy and her associates, supporting their claims.

One of the infants who died, or was killed, was more than 30-weeks’ gestation – well beyond the point of viability.

In other words, there is substantial evidence that Santangelo was performing illegal abortions. U.S. Rep Jim Jordan has requested a congressional inquiry on the aborted children. Santangelo has not yet been charged with any crime.

Handy’s lawyers asked the court to be lenient with a 12-month sentence – effectively amounting to time-served. Her attorneys presented letters from Handy attesting to her commitment to non-violence, her history of humanitarian work, and her dedication to serving the marginalized in society.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the court to sentence Handy to up to six-and-a-half years in jail.

Yesterday, 81-year-old leftist U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly – an appointee of former President Bill Clinton – sentenced Handy to four years and nine months in prison.

Pro-Life advocate Lila Rose posted about the decision on X.

As the Daily Citizen has previously written, “It seems nothing-but-ironic to be found guilty of the conspiracy against rights charges, since the U.S. Supreme Court held in 2022 that abortion is not a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.”

Handy is being represented in court by attorneys from the Thomas More Society, who have announced plans to appeal her conviction.

“Today, the Court granted the Biden Department of Justice its wish by sentencing Ms. Handy to 57 months—nearly 5 years in prison,” said Martin Cannon, Thomas More Society Senior Counsel, following the decision. He added:

For her efforts to peacefully protect the lives of innocent preborn human beings, Ms. Handy deserves thanks, not a gut-wrenching prison sentence.

We will vigorously pursue an appeal of Ms. Handy’s conviction and attack the root cause of this injustice, that is, the FACE Act—which we believe is unconstitutional and should never again be used to persecute peaceful pro-lifers.

In addition to Handy’s sentence, two more pro-life activists were given months-long prison sentences by Judge Kollar-Kotelly for their role in the peaceful protest.

The judge sentenced 69-year-old pro-life activist John Hinshaw to 21 months in federal prison, and three years’ probation. Judge Kollar-Kotelly also sentenced 54-year-old William Goodman to 27 months in prison and three years’ probation.

After receiving his sentence, John Hinshaw – who has worked to serve the homeless, addicted and disabled – gave profound and moving remarks before the court.

“How is it that my granddaughter is a treasure, and the others are trash?” Hinshaw asked.

“I stand convicted, though guiltless. I take on the guilt of this judge. Accept my love for you, judge, as expiation for your guilt.”

You can read more of his remarks below.

According to the DOJ, four additional pro-life activists will be sentenced today, and two more in the coming weeks.

Jay Smith, 34, plead guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 10 months in prison and three years’ probation in March 2023.

Should the other activists be sentenced like Handy, Hinshaw and Goodman, all 10 activists involved in the protest will be sentenced to prison.

The sentencing of these pro-life supporters to jail time is wholly unjust, outrageous and infuriating. That’s especially true considering the substantial evidence that the activists were protesting the likely criminal activity of abortionist Cesare Santangelo.

And yet, as Christians, we know that we will all one day stand before the Supreme Judge, who will deliver true justice – granting eternal life to the righteous, and eternal damnation to the unrighteous (Romans 2:6-8).

While we await the Final Judgement, we know Christians should expect persecutions to come this side of eternity. Scripture teaches,

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Peter 4:12-14, ESV).

And as Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount,

“‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 5:10, ESV).

Praise God, we know the justice of Christ will have the final say in the end.

Please pray for justice to be done in this case.

You can learn more about the work of the Thomas More Society.

If you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and want to learn more about your options, visit My Choice Network.

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Photo from Thomas More Society.