‘A Church Meeting Is Now A Conspiracy’: Pro-Lifers Pray Outside Court After Conviction Over Peaceful Protest
The Daily Wire

NASHVILLE — The six pro-lifers who were convicted of charges related to the FACE Act earlier on Tuesday gathered alongside their friends and family gathered outside the federal courthouse in Nashville to sing and pray just minutes after being found guilty. 

The six, Chet Gallagher of Tennessee, Coleman Boyd of Mississippi, Heather Idoni of Michigan, Cal Zastrow of Michigan, Paul Vaughn of Tennessee, and Dennis Green of Virginia, all face up to 10.5 years in prison and fines worth $260,000 after being convicted of conspiracy against rights and violating the FACE Act, a federal law criminalizing use of force, or threats of force that prevent someone from accessing an abortion facility. 

Despite the steep punishment they face after the convictions, the six remained in good spirits and proceeded to sing and pray outside the Fred D. Thompson courthouse immediately after the verdict was announced. The jury, composed of eight women and four men, took just under four hours to find all six defendants guilty of both charges brought against them by the Biden administration.

“This is just normal Christianity. We love Jesus, we take hits, and then we win,” Zastrow said as he spoke to the crowd, including family members fighting back tears, that had gathered outside the courthouse. He urged those present to write letters to the convicted, including Idoni, who is being held in a Washington, D.C. prison over a similar case. 

The group sang hymns like “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “It is Well with My Soul,” and “Amazing Grace,” and also read passages from the Bible like Psalm 91. 

The six were indicted by the Department of Justice after a protest that took place in a hallway outside of a Mount Juliet abortion provider on March 5, 2021. On that day, a group of demonstrators gathered on the second floor of an office building in the hallway outside the Carafem Health Center Clinic. The group prayed, sang hymns, and urged women showing up to the clinic not to get abortions.

A man named Matthew who traveled from North Carolina to attend the trial told The Daily Wire that he couldn’t believe what had happened. He said he thought that there was “no way” that they would have been convicted on the conspiracy charge. 

“That was the biggest shock to me. It just tells me that the government can use literally anything to get us,” he said. “A church meeting is now a conspiracy. A gathering of friends is now a conspiracy.”


He added that the FACE Act was created to target Christians, pointing out that the pro-lifers were held to a higher standard than many other demonstrators. 

“Where are the convictions against those blocking the interstates, and blocking the roads, and blocking people from getting to their jobs, hospitals? They’re not convicting them. They’re not concerned about that. They’re concerned about Christians standing in a hallway.” 

Steve Crampton, a lawyer from the Thomas More Society who represented Vaughn, said that he was disappointed with the outcome. 

“This was a peaceful demonstration by entirely peaceable citizens — filled with prayer, hymn-singing, and worship — oriented toward persuading expecting mothers not to abort their babies. Unfortunately, the Biden Department of Justice decided to characterize Paul Vaughn’s peaceful actions as a felony ‘conspiracy against rights,’ to intimidate and punish Paul and other pro-life people and people of faith,” he said. 

The six are set to be sentenced on July 2. The case is expected to be appealed. 

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘A Church Meeting Is Now A Conspiracy’: Pro-Lifers Pray Outside Court After Conviction Over Peaceful Protest