Biden DOJ targets another pro-lifer with FACE Act charges

The Justice Department has charged another pro-life activist with violating the law on free entry to clinics – this time an activist from the same pro-life group that discovered the remains of aborted babies from the size of a preemie outside a Washington, DC abortion center. clinical.

The two-count superseding indictment from a DC federal grand jury charged Herb Geraghty, 25, with conspiracy against rights and violations of the FACE law for blocking the entrance of an abortion clinic in October 2020, the Department of Justice said in a statement. Pro-life activists had blocked the entrance to the abortion clinic, the Washington-based Washington Surgi-Clinic, to “prevent women from entering the clinic to murder their children”.

“This is a clear abuse of power and a sign that the Biden administration is using the Justice Department to attack political targets, especially those of us who believe in the right to life for all human beings,” said Progressive Party member Geraghty. Anti-abortion insurgency, told the Daily Signal.

Geraghty has “not yet” been arrested, the activist said, adding: “Hopefully they let me turn myself in, but no confirmation yet anyway.”

A federal grand jury returned an indictment on March 24 alleging that Lauren Handy, Jonathan Darnel, Jay Smith, Paulette Harlow, Jean Marshall, John Hinshaw, Heather Idoni, William Goodman and Joan Bell were “engaged in a conspiracy to create a blockade” at the Washington Surgi-Clinic.

“According to the superseding indictment, as part of the conspiracy, Geraghty communicated with Handy to plan the blockade,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “Handy arranged to house her co-conspirators from Michigan, New York and Boston, and she secured a cash donation to pay for an Airbnb reservation for herself and Geraghty. According to the indictment, Geraghty and several co-defendants traveled from out of state to Washington, DC, to participate in the blockade of the clinic.

The new replacement indictment also alleges that Handy, Smith, Harlow, Marshall, Hinshaw, Idoni, Goodman, Bell and Geraghty “forced their way into the clinic and proceeded to block two doors of the clinic using their bodies, their furniture, their chains and their ropes”.

“Once the blockade was established,” the statement continued, “Darnel broadcast live footage of the activities of his co-defendants. The indictment also alleges that the 10 defendants violated FACE law by using physical obstruction to injure, intimidate and interfere with clinic employees and a patient, because they were providing or obtaining reproductive health services. .

Each of the defendants could face up to 11 years in prison, three years of probation and a fine of up to $260,000 if convicted.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a Daily Signal request for comment. The charges against Geraghty come amid a national outcry over the department’s arrest of other activists, including two pro-life fathers from large families, charged in separate proceedings with FACE law violations.

The DOJ acted after the discovery of fetal remains

Days before the DOJ charged the first nine activists of the progressive anti-abortion uprising in March, activists Terrisa Bukovinac and Handy said they intercepted a box of aborted baby remains outside the Washington Surgi-Clinic.

Photos reviewed by The Daily Signal provided by the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising indicate that the boxes were from the abortion clinic and were about to be incinerated at the Curtis Bay medical waste treatment facility in Baltimore.

Members of the progressive anti-abortion uprising told the Daily Wire at the time that the box they intercepted at the clinic contained all five prematurely sized aborted babies as well as 110 babies, mostly sprayed, aborted in the first trimester.

Activists told the Daily Signal they found the bodies of the aborted babies on March 25. At their request, Bukovinac told the Daily Signal, their attorney sent a letter to the DC Metropolitan Police Department on March 29 advising police they had the baby’s bodies and wanted to turn them over to authorities for investigation.

“However, the next day Lauren was charged with unrelated charges for a non-violent direct action that occurred in October 2020 – at the same abortion center where they had received the remains a few days prior,” said Geraghty in a blog post about Handy’s arrest, describing how the FBI arrested Handy on March 30, charging him and nine others with federal civil rights violations.

“She was arrested by the FBI outside her apartment and released on bail a few hours later,” Geraghty said. “Later that day, as agreed by the attorney, DC police came to collect the bodies of the remaining babies.”

Mayor of DC Muriel Bowser finally addressed the case in April and pointed the finger at Handy, calling his actions “extremist anti-abortion activity.”

“The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is in consultation with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia on both matters,” Bowser said at the time, adding that the October 2020 incident and Handy’s involvement in the search for the babies’ bodies are “potentially, serious violations of federal law.”

The mayor did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Signal.

The Metropolitan Police Department’s public information officer, Sean Hickman, confirmed to the Daily Signal in September that there was still “an active investigation” into the bodies of the babies.

The abortionist who operates out of Washington Surgi-Clinic, Dr. Cesare Santangelo, would have been recorded saying in 2012 that if babies were born alive during his abortions, he would let them die. His comments and the photographs of horrific wounds on the babies’ bodies raised concerns among pro-life activists and lawmakers that Santangelo used illegal partial-birth abortion techniques to kill the babies.

“Horribly, Washington, DC has no limits on legal abortionother than the few federal laws protecting the unborn child“, wrote Geraghty. “However, this abortionist has been registered saying that if a baby were to be born alive during a post-viability abortion procedure at his clinic, he would refuse to provide medical care to the infant in violation of federal law.

Washington Surgi-Clinic has maintained a stony silence, addressing demands to the National Abortion Federation, and Curtis Bay Medical Waste Facility has denied the incident happened (despite photographs showing the boxes in which the remains were reportedly found covered by the company’s labeling).

Herb Geraghty, pro-life atheist

The Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising said in a statement that Geraghty is the first atheist to be charged with alleged violations of the FACE law.

“For nearly three decades since FACE’s enactment in 1994, it has rarely been used to prosecute life advocates,” the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising said in an Instagram post. “However, in 2022 alone, under [the Joe Biden/Merrick Garland Justice Department]there have been at least 22 peaceful pro-life activists charged under the law.

The Justice Department “accused the defendants of conspiring to ‘deny civil rights,’ but the Supreme Court made it clear that abortion is not a constitutional right,” the organization added.

Geraghty told the Daily Signal that “there is nothing inherently religious about the pro-life cause.”

“Science alone clearly shows that the life of a human being begins at conception and abortion ends the life of that unique human being,” Geraghty said. “I adopt a consistent ethic of life and therefore oppose aggressive violence against human beings in all circumstances. No one ever asks me, ‘if you are an atheist, why do you oppose the death penalty or to police brutality or to war?’ It is only in the context of abortion that suddenly the idea that an atheist would defend human rights is called into question, but that should not be the case.

“You don’t have to believe in any particular religion to think that dismembering human babies is wrong and that pregnant women deserve the support they need to give birth to these children in safe and sustainable communities,” Geraghty added. “This should be common ground that we all share, regardless of religious beliefs or political ideology.”

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