The Justice Department has convicted a number of pro-life activists, including two women in their seventies, as part of a “conspiracy” to stop Americans from getting abortions.
The DOJ reported on the judicial development on Friday.
“A federal jury today convicted three defendants of both offenses in a two-count indictment charging them with federal civil rights offenses in connection with the October 22, 2020, invasion of a reproductive health care clinic in Washington, D.C. The defendants – Jonathan Darnel, 41, of Arlington, Va.; Jean Marshall, 73, of Kingston, Mass.; Joan Bell, 74, of Montague, NJ – were each convicted of a felony conspiracy against rights and a FACE Act offense,” the press statement read.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and other justice department attorneys in Washington D.C. in conjunction with the FBI.
As the Justice department related, the defendants each face “up to a maximum of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $350,000.”
As the press statement adds, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who presided over the trial, ordered the defendants to be immediately detained, as required by statute, and the sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
The Justice department laid out its case that this was a “conspiracy” to stop Americans from getting abortions.
“As the evidence at trial showed, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to create a blockade at the reproductive health care clinic to prevent the clinic from providing, and patients from receiving, reproductive health services,” the DOJ stated in activist language. “As part of the conspiracy, Marshall and Bell traveled to the Washington, D.C. area to meet with Darnel and participate in a clinic blockade that was directed another co-conspirator and was broadcast on Facebook.”
“According to the evidence, Marshall, and Bell were among a group that forcefully entered the clinic and set about blockading two clinic doors using their bodies, furniture, chains and ropes,” the statement continued. “Once the blockade was established, Darnel – who remained outside the clinic — live-streamed their activities on social media. The evidence also showed that the defendants violated the FACE Act by using a physical obstruction to injure, intimidate and interfere with the clinic’s employees and a patient, because they were providing or obtaining reproductive health services.”
The DOJ noted that, “Five co-conspirators in the action were convicted in August 2023 on the same counts. Lauren Handy, 28, of Alexandria, Va.; John Hinshaw, 67, of Levittown, NY; Heather Idoni, 61, of Linden, Mich.; William Goodman, 52, of the Bronx, NY; and Herb Geraghty, 25, of Pittsburgh, Pa., also were convicted of felony conspiracy against rights and a FACE Act offense. One co-defendant, Jay Smith, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 months of incarceration, followed by three years of supervised release.”
The case is being prosecuted by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the District of New Jersey, District of Massachusetts, Eastern District of Michigan, Eastern District of New York, and Southern District of New York; and FBI Field Offices in Newark, New York City, Boston, and Detroit provided valuable assistance.
This was truly a nationwide effort to throw pro-life activists in prison.
As Greg Price noted sarcastically on X, “It’s good to see the Biden DOJ removing these hardened criminals from our streets.”
BREAKING: Pro life activists Jean Marshall (73) and Joan Bell (74) were just convicted for blocking the entrance to an abortion clinic and now face 11 years in prison.
It’s good to see the Biden DOJ removing these hardened criminals from our streets. pic.twitter.com/W4Pysg2xoy
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 18, 2023
Red Rose Rescue, the anti-abortion group in question, has participated in other such protests, including one in New Jersey in July of 2019.