WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Day three of the third D.C. FACE Act trial saw jailed pro-life rescuer Jean Marshall take the stand in defense of her sister, Paulette Harlow, to testify to her peaceful, “non-violent,” “compassionate,” and “truthful” character, and the duo’s intent “to save lives” in their pro-life work.
Marshall said the two had taken part in the October 2020 pro-life rescue at the Washington-Surgi Center – for which Marshall has been thrown in prison and her sister is standing trial – because “we were trying to save babies who were being slaughtered.” “The goal was to save lives,” she insisted.
When asked by the prosecution if she and Harlow were willingly to try to save lives even if it meant breaking the law, Marshall declared, “We are not morally obliged to obey unjust laws.” She then quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “We are obliged to obey just laws,” explaining that she and her sister drew inspiration for challenging abortion laws from the civil disobedience of the Civil Rights movement, championed by King.
“Abortion is murder. We came to stop the murder, to save children,” and to offer “counseling to women,” Marshall insisted.
She also said that she and her sister were aware of the case of “a woman who had died from a botched abortion” at the Washington-Surgi Center, in which “fetal tissue was found in her lungs.”
When referring to the Washington-Surgi Center, which conducts late term abortions in barbarous ways that include dismemberment of the child – as evidenced by photos taken of the remains of babies torn apart by the facility’s abortionist Cesare Santangelo – Marshall incurred the censure of Judge Colleen Collar-Kotelly by calling the center an “abortuary,” a term to which the prosecution objected. The avidly pro-abortion judge disallowed the use of the term in court after deeming it “inflammatory.”
Marshall also testified that within the abortion facility she had told the office manager, who could be seen on video footage shown in court brandishing a mop stick with which to jab pro-lifers that day, “We have come in peace. You are assaulting us, and that is a felony.”
The office manager at the Washington-Surgi Center, who also testified Wednesday under the pseudonym “Tina Smith,” could be seen on camera pushing and shoving the pro-lifers as they entered the facility waiting room. She could be seen pushing defendant Paulette Harlow to the ground.
Harlow told LifeSiteNews that she intends to press charges against Smith for assault, which, given Harlow’s age, would also likely qualify as elder abuse.
Testifying to Harlow’s character, Marshall said, “She has a stellar reputation.” She said her sister was known to be “compassionate,” “helpful,” “non-violent,” and was often sought out in her community for her good counsel.
In a Friday press release about the DOJ’s prosecution of Harlow, Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) called out the administration for going after elderly pro-life women in what it denounced as “an attempt at inflicting death by incarceration.”
“Paulette suffers from several medical conditions and is sure to be mistreated behind bars,” PAAU stated. “Her sister Jean is already in jail and has fallen ill with pneumonia. Jean has been neglected and denied the proper care for her sickness.”
PAAU Executive Director Caroline Smith said: “The DOJ convicting these older Rescuers for a crime that has a potential 11-year sentence is an attempt at inflicting death by incarceration. I have no doubt that the government fully understands that convicting and sentencing these older Rescuers and sending them to a place that will not give them proper care is the next step towards killing them.”
PAAU insisted that the elderly Paulette Harlow, Jean Marshall, Joan Andrews Bell, and John Hinshaw “are all in vulnerable positions behind bars.” “We must speak up for them and never forget the immense sacrifice they are making for the sake of the babies,” the group said.
This week’s trial has been interrupted periodically to allow for Harlow, who is 75 years old and has multiple health issues, to rest or receive medical attention. Harlow was prevented from standing trial in September because she was in the hospital. She is escorted around the courthouse in a wheelchair.
Because of her poor health, which includes debilitating diabetes, Hashimoto’s disease, and severe back pain requiring the use of a wheelchair, Harlow was transported from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., in a special-needs van equipped with a mattress for her to lie down. Harlow underwent a procedure to alleviate throat strictures from a hiatal hernia on Tuesday, three days before her pre-trial hearing on October 20.
Marshall, who is behind bars for the same October 2020 rescue at the Washington-Surgi Center, has fallen ill with pneumonia in prison.
Upon conviction in each of the first two D.C. FACE Act trials, defendants were immediately imprisoned due to a finding of “force” and “physical obstruction” attached to the charge of violating the FACE Act, which allowed the prosecution to request incarceration before sentencing owing to conviction for a “crime of violence.”
Together with the FACE 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.