WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) –– Pro-life rescuer and defendant in the third D.C. FACE Act trial Paulette Harlow, 75, told LifeSiteNews that she wants women to know the truth about abortion instead of being lied to, and if their fears are actually addressed, mothers will often choose life.
In an exclusive interview outside the D.C. Federal Courthouse, Harlow spoke to LifeSiteNews about why she came to the Washington Surgi-Center in 2020, for which she is presently on trial.
“I’ve devoted my life to save unborn children because I know it’s God’s will. I know these are His precious children. They are made in His image and likeness, and He does not want any harm to come to them.”
“Women need solutions to their crisis pregnancies,” she added. “They don’t need someone coming along and saying I’ll kill your child for you, do you mind paying for it.”
Whether it’s housing, or staying in school or talking to a parent, Harlow said, “Whatever it is that they’re afraid of that brought them to the abortion clinic, that’s what I think we should be trying to help them with.” She explained that this was her goal in sidewalk counseling outside abortion facilities, which she used to do regularly with her husband.
When asked what words she had for LifeSite’s pro-life viewers, Harlow said, “My message is, do not be afraid to do something, to act. We can pray, and we know that abortion is one of those sins that requires fasting as well. So we can pray and fast, but we also have to do something. We have to call our senators and representatives, we have to go to the abortion clinics and counsel, we have to write letters, we have to make sure people understand what abortion is.”
“Most people in the United States do not understand that abortion is removing a baby’s arms and legs while it is alive, crushing the baby’s skull while it is alive, and suctioning it out.”
Denouncing the commonly told myth that an unborn baby is “just a blob of tissue,” Harlow insisted, “That is a lie. The baby has a beating heart at 21 days. They do not tell women this.”
“We can do better than this for mothers in crisis,” she said.
This echoed what Harlow had just told the court that afternoon when taking the stand. She insisted that her purpose in participating in the October 2020 rescue was to counsel pregnant mothers and help them learn the truth about abortion.
“We wanted to help mothers,” she said. She decided to enter the clinic because “I was planning to go sit down and pray.”
Jailed fellow pro-life rescuer Joan Bell also took the stand Thursday, affirming that the reason for the rescue was to prevent abortions and let women know they had other options. Bell appeared in good spirits, and has said she is using her time in prison as a contemplative time of prayer and penance, offering it for an end to abortion.
Bishop Kevin Sweeney of the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey, recently wrote a moving letter commending Bell for “her inspiring life and dedication to the pro-life cause.” “I believe that Joan Andrews Bell, her voice, example, and witness, are worthy of our consideration,” the bishop wrote.
Harlow told the court that when she entered the facility’s waiting room, in the midst of lots of commotion, she was knocked to the ground by a clinic staff member who hit her with the metal end of a mop stick, causing her injury.
Harlow was arrested with other pro-life rescuers that day and is the last of those charged by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the October 2020 rescue to stand trial. She is presently under house arrest, and while she is allowed to go to the doctor, Harlow is not allowed to go to Church.
With closing arguments offered yesterday in court, Harlow now waits as Judge Collar-Kotelly reviews the case to issue a verdict, which she said will come before November. 17. Kotelly indicated to the court that, depending on her verdict and Harlow’s health condition, she may not require parties to appear in person at the courtroom, seeming to imply that Harlow may be given special consideration to avoid the immediate imprisonment suffered by her fellow pro-lifers following their convictions.
Together with the FACE Act violation, defendants were charged with “conspiracy against rights.” The two charges carry the possibility of 11 years in prison. An appeal has been filed and there is hope that the U.S. Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down the FACE Act.