(LifeSiteNews) —The United States Department of Justice is moving ahead with the case of pro-life activist Paulette Harlow in its FACE Act trial prosecutions despite the 75-year-old’s long list of ailments. Because of her poor health, which includes debilitating diabetes, Hashimoto’s Disease, and severe back pain requiring the use of a wheelchair, Harlow will be transported from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C. in a special-needs van equipped with a mattress for her to lie down in.
“The prosecutor really wants me in jail,” said Harlow, who is currently serving in-house detention. “I can go to the doctor, but I can’t go to church. I can’t go to Mass. I can’t go to the sacraments. I have to have a priest come here for Mass, which is once a week.”
Harlow will undergo a procedure to alleviate throat strictures from a hiatal hernia on Tuesday, three days before her pre-trial hearing on October 20.
The trial pertains to Harlow’s participation in the October 22, 2020 rescue at the Washington Surgi-Clinic in D.C. Eight other defendants who took part have already been convicted, labeled violent criminals, and sent to jail to await sentencing.
“The reason I wasn’t on trial with everyone else is that I landed in the emergency room,” she said. Yet prosecutor Sanjay Patel, whose attempt to convict Pennsylvania pro-life activist Mark Houck on FACE charges resulted in acquittal in January, is going after Harlow in the same manner as the other eight defendants, before Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.
Harlow knows that she likely faces a similar outcome, as juries found each defendant guilty on all charges and all are facing an 11-year federal prison sentence. One of the prosecutors openly mocked Harlow after her emergency room visit by accusing her of exaggerating her medical condition and “pulling a stunt” to avoid standing trial.
The rescuer, a registered nurse, says she is resigned to accepting the worst.
“I am feeling very, very uplifted by all my pro-life friends and church people. They’ve been very loving and supportive,” she said.
“I’m also doing what I know is God’s will. I know without any doubt that we’re not supposed to stand by and let these children have their arms and legs ripped off and have their skulls crushed,” she continued. “This particular doctor [Cesare Santangelo] is doing full-term abortions and he’s getting away with it.”
Harlow compared Santangelo to the Hamas terrorists whose bloodthirsty rampage in Israel included the slaughter of babies. “People are outraged by that, yet here we are doing the same thing and we’re making mothers pay money for it.”
When asked whether she thinks she can survive in jail, Harlow said she would rely on God.
“I’m sure God will take care of me wherever I am and whatever happens to me. I think we need to give everything we can to the Lord and trust in Him will all our heart,” she said.
“What’s the worst thing that could happen to any of us?” she said. “We could die, but that’s not so bad. The worst that could happen to any of us would be to lose our faith, to lose our soul, because eternity is forever.”
The following is a livestream link posted on the day of the October 22, 2020 rescue by Jonathan Darnel. The recording is over one hour, 32 minutes long.