Featured Image
From left to right: Joan Andrews Bell, Jonathan Darnel, Jean MarshallJim Hale / LifeSiteNews

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – In this three-part series, LifeSiteNews reporter Louis Knuffke explains why the shockingly biased D.C. trials, at which he was present, could ultimately lead to victory for the unborn. Part One can be found here


Misapplication of law and discriminatory prosecution 

In a gross misapplication of the law and an egregiously discriminatory prosecution, peaceful pro-lifers trying to save innocent lives through non-violent civil disobedience were judged guilty of a “crime of violence” while clinic staff who assaulted the defendants and jabbed them with a broomstick walked away exonerated. Meanwhile, the violent, painful, and gruesome murder and dismemberment of babies within the clinic was dubbed “reproductive health care” to which women have a “right.” 

RELATED: Sr. Dede Byrne laments injustice of pro-lifers in jail while abortionist ‘has a free pass to kill innocent life’  

If the FACE Act equally protects all medical clinics including pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, its application has been anything but equal under the Biden Administration. Seldom have members of Jane’s Revenge been prosecuted, despite the hundreds of instances in which they have fire-bombed, threatened, burned, and defaced crisis pregnancy centers and directly assaulted or injured pro-lifers, even in broad daylight.  

RELATED: Pro-life leader accuses Biden DOJ of weaponizing FACE Act to cover up infanticide  

In yet another instance of unequal treatment under the law, the FBI established a working relationship with the Washington Surgi-Clinic, but instead of investigating the clinic and abortionist Santangelo for criminal violations of federal law through partial-birth abortion and infanticide (there being substantive evidence that Santangelo commits both crimes), the FBI spent months combing through material for evidence against peaceful pro-life protesters. 

As has become increasingly clear since the Mark Houck case and the Richmond memo targeting Catholics, the FBI is deep in the business of hunting down pro-lifers in service of Biden’s war on Americans who believe in the sanctity of life in the womb. 

RELATED: DC police backtrack: ‘No investigation’ into abortion center where pro-lifers found 5 discarded babies  

In August the Federal Appellate Court for D.C. ruled in favor of pro-lifers whom the District had charged with defacement of property for writing “Black Pre-Born Lives Matter” in chalk on a public sidewalk. The court did so both because the District had not brought similar charges against the BLM advocates who had defaced public property in far more permanent ways and because the city had effectively suspended the law with respect to BLM messages. It could not target pro-life BLM messages in a discriminatory way. 

The lower court’s ruling was thus overturned for unequal and discriminatory application of the law against pro-lifers. And because of the unique status of the District of Columbia, the same court hears the appeals for both local and federal cases in D.C. Therefore, the appeal for the federal FACE Act trials in D.C. will be adjudicated by the same court that just ruled in favor of pro-lifers because of discriminatory prosecution and application of the law. 

If the lower court’s ruling is overturned, the prosecution will almost certainly appeal further. On the other hand, if the lower court’s ruling is sustained, the defense will certainly appeal. That appeal would go directly to SCOTUS, to be taken up at the Justices’ discretion. 

RELATED: ‘Fight is not over’: Defense attorneys vow appeal after pro-life rescuers found guilty in DC FACE trial 

Striking down FACE at SCOTUS 

A lesson here could perhaps be learned from what transpired when SCOTUS took up Dobbs. Although the case began as a particular abortion case surrounding viability, by the time it wound its way through the courts up to SCOTUS, both sides expanded their arguments, so that when the matter was argued before the Supreme Court, the case predominantly turned around the more fundamental question of upholding or striking down Roe v. Wade 

Not only did both the prosecution and defense expand their argument, but the Justices expressly acknowledged this and accepted it as the real issue at stake that needed to be re-examined. SCOTUS acknowledged that both sides were arguing about viability because they thought Roe stood or fell on that question. It was Roe that each side cared about, so it was Roe that the court ruled on and overturned. 

Similarly, this particular case began with a narrow look at whether 8 pro-life advocates violated the FACE Act when conducting a “traditional rescue” at the Washington Surgi-Clinic. Despite Judge Kotelly’s insistence that the case was not about abortion, the reason both the defense and the prosecution care about FACE—either challenging it or applying it—is abortion. 

Part Three,’Why all pro-lifers must support the rescuers jailed over the FACE Act,’ will appear on Monday, September 25, 2023.