Pro-Life Activists Receive FACE Act Convictions After Protesting Outside Abortion Clinic

Four pro-life activists are facing FACE Act convictions for peacefully protesting outside of a Tennesee abortion clinic in 2021.

Those convicted include Eva Edl, 87; Eva Zastrow, 24; James Zastrow, 25; and Paul Place, 24. They face up to six months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

After less than half an hour of deliberation, Middle District of Tennessee Magistrate Judge Chip Frensly sided with the Department of Justice (DOJ)

According to a press release, evidence presented at the trial pointed to the defendants “using physical obstruction over the course of several hours to interfere with the clinic’s employees and a patient, because the clinic was providing, and the patient sought, reproductive health services.”

Lawyers argued that the DOJ never proved the defendants were blocking individuals from entering the abortion facility.

The Daily Wire reported that the defendants’ lawyers said Biden’s DOJ was prosecuting “people who were simply expressing their beliefs in a non-violent way.”

In January, six other activists went on trial for the 2021 protest.

The defendants, Chet Gallagher, Coleman Boyd, Heather Idoni, Cal Zastrow, Paul Vaughn, and Dennis Green, were also accused by the government of violating the FACE Act and conspiring against rights.

Lawyers for the defendants underscored that the group’s sole agreement was to “save lives” and emphasized the absence of yelling or weapons. They argued that if malicious intent existed, the group would have behaved differently.

Steve Crampton, representing Vaughn, criticized the government’s case, emphasizing its reliance on “inferences and innuendos” rather than evidence. He questioned the portrayal of a large crowd as inherently intimidating, cautioning against undermining the right to assembly.