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John Hinshaw (left), U.S. Department of Justice (right)LifeSiteNews, Shutterstock

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-life advocate John Hinshaw has been sentenced to 21 months in prison and a $125 fine on Tuesday, in the second of Tuesday’s sentencing hearings for the first batch of pro-lifers convicted last year of blocking access to a late-term abortion facility in the nation’s capital.

On August 29, 2023, a D.C. jury found Hinshaw, Lauren Handy, Will Goodman, Heather Idoni, and Rosemary “Herb” Geraghty guilty of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act and “conspiracy against rights.” The next month, Joan Andrews Bell, Jonathan Darnel, and Jean Marshall were convicted of the same; Paulette Harlow’s conviction came in November.

Tuesday’s hearings, before U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, began with Handy starting at 9:00 AM, with Hinshaw following at 10:30 AM. Goodman’s hearing is scheduled for 3:00 PM.

Handy was sentenced to four years and a $125 fine earlier Tuesday.

READ: Jailed DC pro-lifer Lauren Handy sentenced to 4 years in prison by pro-abortion judge

As LifeSiteNews has extensively reported, the pro-lifers stood trial for blocking access to the Washington Surgi-Clinic in downtown Washington, D.C., in a “traditional rescue” in October 2020. Pro-life “rescues,” of which there were many in the early days of the pro-life movement before the FACE Act became federal law, involve physically entering abortion centers and refusing to leave in an effort to convince women to choose life for their babies (Washington Surgi-Clinic is also where five late-term aborted babies were discovered who may have either been killed by illegal partial-birth abortion procedures or after live birth).

Following the convictions, Handy and most of the co-defendants were denied release while awaiting sentencing. Last month, the U.S. Justice Department filed sentencing memos calling for Handy to serve between 5.25 and 6.5 years in prison and for the rest of the defendants to serve a minimum of two years. On Monday, Kollar-Kotelly ruled in favor of multiple sentencing enhancements, including obstruction of justice for alleged perjury at trial and for their “victims” (i.e., abortion facility clients) being “vulnerable.”

Hinshaw will effectively serve 12 months, as he has already spent nine in prison.

READ: Jailed pro-lifer denied essential heart medication following stroke

The cases are the latest in what pro-lifers condemn as a pattern of the pro-abortion Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) weaponizing the criminal justice system to crush its political enemies.

Since May 2022, when the U.S. Supreme Court’s intention to overturn Roe v. Wade was first leaked, “there have been at least 236 attacks on Catholic churches and at least 90 attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers,” the Daily Signal reported. Yet the DOJ “charged only pro-life activists with FACE Act violations in 2022, and has since charged only five individuals with violating the FACE Act by targeting pregnancy centers.” At the same time, it has zealously pursued incidents involving pro-lifers, from the D.C. defendants to Philadelphia sidewalk counselor and Catholic father of seven Mark Houck.

READ: Elderly jailed pro-lifer allowed to see doctor, released from 20-hour lockdown after LifeSite report

Several of the D.C. Nine have endured mistreatment while in custody above and beyond the charges and sentencing themselves. Heather Idoni, 59, was placed in prolonged solitary confinement for 22 days and deprived of sleep with the lights of her cell kept on continually. Jean Marshall, 74, was deprived of sufficient clothing and heat during extreme freezing winter cold, causing her to contract pneumonia that went untreated for three weeks, and was denied urgent hip surgery. Paulette Harlow, 75, was refused permission to attend Mass while under house arrest.

This is a developing story, and more reactions will be added throughout the day. LifeSiteNews’ extensive coverage of the D.C. FACE Act trials can be found here.

READ: Pro-life rescuers are very effective in saving lives despite the risk of jail: here’s why