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Joan Andrews BellLifeSiteNews

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Joan Andrews Bell went to jail singing this week after supporters gave her a standing ovation.

On Wednesday, May 15, the veteran pro-life activist, 76, was sentenced in a Washington, D.C., court to 27 months in jail, community service, and a $125 fine which she said she will not pay. Christopher Bell, Joan’s husband, told LifeSiteNews via email that the human rights activist refused to make any compromise that might suggest regret on her part.

“In court … Joan said to the judge, ‘In conscience, I cannot pay any fine. Also, I cannot accept probation as it violates my conscience.’”

When U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia Colleen Kollar-Kotelly also informed Joan Bell that she would have to do community service, the pro-life prisoner “quietly, yet forcefully” explained that she would not do it.

According to Christopher Bell, Joan said: “It violates my conscience. I cannot do something in reparation for something that the court should be doing: protecting children.” She also said that she would not volunteer for probation, as she did not agree that she had done “anything bad.”

Kollar-Kotelly told Joan that if she didn’t work with the probation office there would “be consequences” and that she would “spend more time in jail.”

“I would rather do that than give a bad example,” Chris said his wife replied.

RELATED: Pro-lifer Joan Andrews Bell sentenced to 27 months in DC FACE Act case

He continued: “As Joan was taken out of the courtroom, the entire gallery of onlookers, as if one body, erupted in applause as they gave her a standing ovation and many, including me, were saying, ‘I love you, Joan.’  She left looking back and singing ‘Ave, Ave, Maria.’”

On Friday, September 15, 2023, Joan Andrews Bell, Jean Marshall, and Jonathan Darnel were convicted of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act and “conspiracy against rights.”

As LifeSiteNews has extensively reported, Bell and other pro-lifers were tried for blocking access to the Washington Surgi-Clinic in downtown Washington, D.C., in a “traditional rescue” in October 2020. Washington Surgi-Clinic is where five late-term aborted babies were discovered who may have either been killed by illegal partial-birth abortion procedures or after they were born alive.

Following the convictions, most of the defendants were immediately incarcerated while awaiting sentencing.   

Bell has already spent nine months in jail.