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Pro-life rescuers found guilty in Washington DC

Joan Andrews Bell, Jonathan Darnel and Jean Marshall have been found guilty of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act and plotting against rights to access the Washington Surgi-Clinic during a "traditional rescue" in October 2020.

Pro-life rescues refer to activists physically intervening to try to stop women from going through with abortions.

Chris Bell, Joan’s husband stated: “The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, was a very proper day to share in a very small way in Christ’s suffering, not least for the unborn who had no voice. The unborn babies were not allowed to enter in any video or picture or role. When Joan, who represented herself in court, attempted to offer an opening and closing statement, she was silenced by the same court that continues to look away from the horror of the slaughter of the innocents”. Chris highlighted that exceedingly late-term babies “continue to be killed” at the Washington clinic, and asked supporters to continue to “pray for an end to this slaughter”.

Joan considers her prison sentence as an “opportunity to pray like a Carmelite cloistered nun and continue her work as a silent witness seeking to save babies who nobody wants to see or defend”. According to her daughter, Theresa, Joan’s conviction had been “very mentally draining and emotionally troubling”. Theresa struggled to watch her mum helplessly “go through this as such a peaceful woman trying to impart her beliefs in the value of all human life to people who are uneducated about the issue. She has peacefully accepted the verdict, in the spirit of becoming an advocate for the babies who cannot speak.”

Theresa wishes to appeal against the verdict, however, it’s going to be a lengthy process. 

Monica Miller, founder and director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, stated in an interview: “Today, again justice was not served. Indeed, the innocent unborn have been struck a double blow on this Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. I heard 3 full days of testimony of this FACE trial and watched video footage but the pro-life rescuers never acted in violence. Regardless, the jury not only found them guilty of violating the FACE Act, but checked off the box that they used ‘physical force in their obstruction of reproductive rights.’ In the end, it is still the unborn who suffer these lies, and by lies are subjected to legal extermination. We must show support for these defenders of the unborn and continue to fight… until the unborn are free”.

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