Four Pro-Lifers Face Prison Time After ‘Peaceful Protest’

( – A federal judge just convicted four pro-lifers of obstructing the entrance of a Mount Juliet, Tennessee, reproductive health clinic on March 5, 2021. The peaceful protesters now face time behind bars over their efforts to stop abortions at the facility. They each face up to six months in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and five years of supervised release.

FACE Act Violations

The Department of Justice’s Middle District of Tennessee issued a press release on the judgment on March 3, a day after the ruling. It states that a federal judge found 24-year-old Paul Place, 87-year-old Eva Edl, 24-year-old Eva Zastrow, and 25-year-old James Zastrow guilty of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994, or FACE Act, when they blocked access to the Carafem Health Center Clinic on March 5, 2021.

The clinic is on the second floor of a larger medical building. The four defendants were among a larger group of people who allegedly stood in front of the upstairs hallway leading to the entrance, keeping patients and doctors alike from entering. Local law enforcement asked them to leave multiple times over a span of over two hours, but the protesters refused to budge. At that point, the police arrested them.

The FACE Act makes obstructing a facility that provides “reproductive health services” illegal. Ironically, the same legislation protects houses of worship and First Amendment rights as they pertain to religious freedom. The law bars all demonstrations that obstruct or interfere with either of the two establishments’ ability to conduct regular business. It doesn’t enforce any actions against peaceful picketers who allow their targets to continue functioning normally.

Alleged Conspiracy

Seven other people were charged along with the four who were just found guilty. They face even graver allegations of conspiracy. Prosecutors allege 24-year-old Caroline Davis, 51-year-old Coleman Boyd, 55-year-old Paul Vaughn, 56-year-old Dennis Green, 57-year-old Calvin Zastrow, 58-year-old Heather Idoni, and 73-year-old Chester Gallagher used social media to recruit people for their blockade and make travel arrangements for the volunteers.

Gallagher allegedly began his efforts in February 2021, using social media to promote the anti-abortion “rescue” events that he’d planned for March 4-7, 2021. Boyd live streamed the March 5 demonstration, beginning at 7:45 a.m., and showed the group denying access to a doctor and a patient. At one point in the video, Boyd tells the audience that the woman is there “to kill her baby.”

The individuals charged with conspiracy face up to 11 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines if convicted.

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