On Friday, October 14, a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia indicted 25-year-old Herb Geraghty on charges of participating in a “conspiracy against rights” and violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. Now he’s facing up to eleven years in prison in addition to a $260,000 fine for blocking the entrance to an abortion clinic.
Geraghty, a board member of the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) and Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, as well as the executive director of Rehumanize International, is the tenth activist to face charges pertaining to an incident that occurred in October 2020. The rest of the indictments were handed down in March of this year. Geraghty and fellow pro-life activists are alleged to have “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.”
According to the indictment, Geraghty and the others forcefully entered a clinic, blockaded the entrance, and used “a physical obstruction to injure, intimidate and interfere with the clinic’s employees and a patient.”
In an interview with National Review, Geraghty accused the Department of Justice of “trying to use fear and isolation tactics to scare pro-life Americans out of acting in defense of the unborn,” and said that his prosecution should serve as a warning that “the DOJ seems to be ramping up this targeted campaign against pro-life activists.”
“The Biden administration is using the Department of Justice as a weapon against peaceful pro-life activists and leaders,” argued Geraghty.
Earlier this month, eleven activists were charged with FACE Act violations in Nashville, and in September, another activist’s family was shocked when a group of federal agents gathered outside their family home with guns drawn. The DOJ has made no arrests connected to the wave of violent attacks, including fire-bombings, of pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that began after the Supreme Court’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked.
“The pro-abortion agenda is not just legislative, it is apparently prosecutorial,” mused Geraghty.
Because his case is ongoing, Geraghty declined to go into detail on the events of October 2020, but video footage paints a picture.
On October 22, 2020, a group of pro-lifers gathered outside the Washington Surgi-Clinic to protest the abortions being performed inside. One of the activists, Jonathan Darnel, live-streamed the protest on Facebook.
At the start of Darnel’s video, he boasts that “we have people intervening physically, with their bodies, to prevent women from entering the clinic to murder their children.” He also noted that police were on the scene and said the activists would “go down with the ship, because these kids are worth it.” After Darnel enters the clinic itself, one of the activists claims that “there have been many cases of assault, members of the abortion center have been violent with the peaceful, nonviolent protesters.”
Other protesters had chained themselves together, and were praying loudly in the lobby of the clinic while sitting in chairs pushed close together to block a hallway. A heavy police presence and at least one man identified as an FBI agent can be observed at the scene.
Eventually, the protesters are escorted into a police van. No violence can be seen being perpetrated by any activist, clinic worker, or police in the video. Protesters not actively involved in the hallway blockade were allowed to move in and out of the building freely.
Though the activists gathered at the Washington Surgi-Clinic that day weren’t aware of the scale of the horror taking place inside, PAAU, Geraghty’s progressive pro-life group, has since recovered fetal remains from the clinic which suggest that it performs ghastly, illegal late-term abortions.
Geraghty emphasized his own commitment to non-violence, telling National Review that “I have dedicated my life to non-violence and to promoting the consistent life ethic, which is an opposition to all forms of aggressive violence against human beings.”
“That is incredibly important to me in my own political beliefs when it comes to my opposition to abortion and euthanasia and the death penalty and police brutality and war… but equally so in the interpersonal and especially in my advocacy and any activism that I would be involved in,” he said.
“What we’re talking about here is alleged nonviolent action to defend unborn life,” asserted Geraghty.
Geraghty, who said that as far as he knows, he is the first atheist to be charged under the FACE Act, expressed gratitude for the support he’s received from all of the constituent parts of the pro-life movement.
“I am grateful that I have the pro-life community around me to support me in this,” he said. “We have each other and we have solidarity with each other and we are going to continue to work to defend the unborn in any way we can.”
“I am not talking about like just my few friends that I happen to have that are pro-life. I’m talking about everyone and I think that I’ve been really impressed,” added Geraghty.
The Department of Justice has not responded to a request for comment.
Reporting from National Review.