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Pro-life defendant Lauren Handy in Washington, D.C., where she and others were tried and founding guilty of violating the FACE Act and 'conspiracy against rights'Jim Hale / LifeSiteNews

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – In a criminal trial I thought it was the job of the defense to argue in any way they thought reasonable to defend their client in court. I also thought it was the job of the jury to adjudicate the truth of the arguments offered by each side; and that it was the job of the judge to assure as much as possible that impartial jurors be selected to adjudicate whether the guilt of the defendants has been proven or not, and to impartially oversee the procedural progress of the trial. 

Such, however, does not seem to have been the understanding of the judge in the present FACE Act trial in Washington D.C. in which charges of conspiracy and violations of a federal statute – a statute dependent upon the now-overturned Roe v. Wade and designed to assure at the federal level access to abortion facilities – are being leveled against nine pro-lifers, who sought to rescue the unborn from the untimely death of abortion. 

READ: Pro-life leader accuses Biden DOJ of weaponizing FACE Act to cover up infanticide  

Yesterday, while I watched Day One of the trial unfold in the courtroom, the prosecution and defense made their opening statements and heard the first several witnesses that the prosecution brought to the case. If the selection of a predominantly pro-abortion jury – in a case in which the defendants have said they acted out of their conviction that abortion is the murder of the baby – were not already an indication that the verdict is essentially predetermined in this trial, then the continual objections of the prosecution during the opening statement of the defense, and the full cooperation of the judge in sustaining them, should indicate the guided direction in which this trial is going. 

Sister Deirdre Byrne with pro-life defendant Heather Idoni

Indeed, the judge has preemptively excluded all arguments that the defense might level related to the morality of abortion and its legality. “This case is not about abortion,” the judge said repeatedly to every potential juror during the long and tedious days of jury selection. However, several months ago when the defense objected that after the Dobbs decision – which stated categorically that “the Constitution does not  confer a right to abortion” – a federal court no longer carries jurisdiction in cases related to abortion and the FACE act, this very judge, in this very case, ordered both parties to examine and submit their opinion on whether abortion was protected by the 13th Amendment of the Constitution.  

The 13th amendment abolished slavery in this country. It has nothing to do with abortion, and when it was ratified, most of the states of the Union had universal, or near universal, bans on abortion, and every other state soon after did, too.

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court Dobbs decision last year, pro-abortion advocates have been clamoring for retribution against pro-lifers.

So desperate was the judge’s attempt to maintain jurisdiction over the case that even the prosecution declined to argue that the 13th Amendment assured a constitutional right to abortion. And so, having failed in the ridiculous argument that the prohibition of slavery assured the right to kill an unborn baby, and having secured alleged jurisdiction over the case through a different argument – that it falls under the Commerce Act – the judge has now ruled that the case has so little to do with abortion that the matter may not be brought up in argument by the defense.  

The defense is no longer allowed to speak the words “infanticide,” “abortion,” and “innocent lives,” for they have been dubbed “inflammatory language.” What the judge is refusing to recognize is that both the defense and the prosecution understand that this case is important precisely because it has to do with abortion, and both sides care about it for exactly that reason. 

READ: Pro-life ‘Garland 9’ rescuers attend first pre-trial hearing in Washington, DC 

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court Dobbs decision last year, pro-abortion advocates have been clamoring for retribution against pro-lifers. We have seen this in the FBI Richmond memo, in the Mark Houck trial, in the numerous invocations of the FACE Act in charges leveled by the DOJ, and in the hiding of the evidence of late-term abortions and infanticide being committed at the abortion facility at the center of the present trial in D.C. We see it also in the judge’s refusal to allow arguments about abortion to be used in this case.  

What the courtroom saw yesterday on video were peaceful pro-lifers praying, singing, pleading, and placing their bodies in harm’s way to keep a baby in the womb, who was nearly at term, from being murdered just weeks before it would be able to take its first breath.  

We were told today by a staff member of the Washington-Surgi Clinic that during the pro-life rescue – or as the prosecution is calling it, the “blockade” of the clinic – that the said staff member severely sprained her ankle. This was treated by the prosecution as material to the case, while the life of the unborn baby and the death of that baby, callously dubbed by the prosecution the “termination” of the woman’s pregnancy, was disregarded as immaterial and irrelevant. And while a clear attempt was made to evoke pity among the jury for the pain of the staff member’s sprained ankle, the bloody ending of the life of a human person – which took place at that clinic that day – was glossed over as “healthcare,” a “service,” and a “procedure.”  

Despite the clear attempts of the judge to muzzle the lawyers of the defense regarding the real issue at hand – namely, whether the life of the unborn child is worthy of defense or not – it is hoped that if any of the defendants take the stand, they will have the courage to tell the court and the world why they stood up for the defenseless unborn in October 2020 and why they have been brought to trial. 

The nine pro-life heroes who are or will be standing trial suffer in solidarity with God’s precious little ones who are slaughtered every day by the thousands. It is to give a voice to these voiceless children that these men and women not only stood in the breach to protect them from the killer’s hand, but risked the trial they now face and the possibility of future imprisonment.  

God knows their sacrifice. And the day will come, indeed, it may not be far off, when we as a nation will look with condemnation upon the calloused generations of Americans who looked the other way and justified with every sophistical argument and scheme the blatant, bloody, and ruthless murder of innocent pre-born children. When that day comes these nine pro-life heroes will stand vindicated. May God hasten that day. 


‘The battle belongs to God’: Pro-lifers facing up to 11 years in jail for trying to save babies  

Trial to start Wednesday for pro-life activists facing 11 years in jail for trying to save babies