Paul Vaughn, one of six pro-lifers facing over a decade in prison over a peaceful protest, told The Daily Wire on Friday that he was ready to go toe-to-toe with the Biden administration after his conviction of two charges related to the FACE Act on Tuesday.
Vaughn said that the Justice Department was attempting to intimidate pro-lifers through legal force, but that their actions had only galvanized pro-lifers around the country. Vaughn and five others face 10.5 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines after being convicted in federal court of violating the FACE Act and conspiracy against rights secured by the FACE Act.
“I’d say that I was marginally on the sidelines,” Vaughn told The Daily Wire of his involvement in pro-life activism before his trial. “We were doing a little bit of sidewalk counseling, we weren’t trying to do some national event, we weren’t trying to be a big name, we’re just trying to be Christians and just going out and helping a person here and helping a person there, just live our life in such ways to honor God.”
“But if anything, what this has done is I’m ready to start a national organization, I’m ready to go head-to-head with these people. If they want to bring me into the fight, they should have thought before they swung because God is big and he is powerful,” he added.
Vaughn added that his faith has only grown throughout the long ordeal and that he has received messages from Christians all around the world as far as Tasmania praying for him.
The charges stemmed from a protest that took place in a hallway outside of a Nashville-area 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.
On that day, Vaughn acted as a messenger between the pro-lifers and police negotiator Travis Watkins. DOJ prosecutors accused Vaughn of engaging in deceptive practices over his talks with Watkins and attempted to paint it as a vital component of the conspiracy charge.
Vaughn, who said that both he and Watkins bonded over their Christian faith, said the government’s claims were false and said that Watkins knew he was “not playing him.” Vaughn’s lawyer from the Thomas More Society, Steve Crampton, said that everything done by Vaughn that day was “wholly within the bounds of the law.”
Both Vaughn and Crampton said that the Biden administration was unjustly targeting pro-lifers while attacks on churches and pregnancy resource centers went uninvestigated.
“I don’t think the FBI or the DOJ has any stomach to look who did those things if they’re pro-aborts,” Crampton said.
They also support efforts to repeal the FACE Act, a Clinton-era measure that has been almost exclusively used against pro-lifers. Republicans like Rep. Chip Roy and Sen. Mike Lee have both pushed for their bill repealing the FACE Act to be taken up again in the wake of Vaughn’s conviction.
“I think it’s unconstitutional as it stands. We made those arguments, in this case the court chose not to accept them, but we believe we’re going to win, either in court or in Congress, one way or the other. The FACE Act needs to go,” Crampton told The Daily Wire.
Pending sentencing on July 2, Crampton said an appeal would be filed in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Vaughn added that he always thought that this would be an appeals case and that God had a bigger plan for the case than for it to end on the district level.