Judge Denies Biden Admin Attempt To Lock Up Peaceful Pro-Life Protester
Thomas More Society.

Paul Vaughn, a pro-life father of 11, escaped prison time on Tuesday after he was sentenced in Nashville over his participation in a peaceful protest at a Tennessee abortion facility March 2021.

The Biden administration had asked for one year of prison time, but U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger decided to impose no prison time or fine, sentencing Vaughn to three years of supervised release. Vaughn was convicted of violating the FACE Act and in participating in a conspiracy against rights.

The Biden Justice Department brought charges against Vaughn and 10 other pro-lifers present at a sit-in at the Carafem Health Center Clinic in Mt. Juliet.

When given an opportunity to speak, Vaughn said that the “reason I am engaged in activities is because I care for my country.”

He added that it was between the judge and God whether he should be “locked up.” Vaughn also maintained that he had never broken the FACE Act, a Clinton-era law that has been used to go after pro-lifers protesting and sidewalk counseling outside of abortion facilities.

Vaughn also talked about how his children still had nightmares from when the FBI came “with lethal force,” to his home to arrest him. He asked how such a show of force was necessary over non-violent charges. He added that he would have been “more than willing” and “would have come down at any time,” to talk to federal officials about the charges.

While Trauger said that Vaughn and others had been “imposing their religious beliefs on other people,” and harassed people “with their opinions,” she acknowledged that it was “entirely non-violent” and that “no one was hurt in any way.”

She added that “this offense was motivated by strongly held religious beliefs” that abortion ends the life of a child that many people hold across the country.

An overflow room crowded with supporters of Vaughn watching the proceedings at the courthouse erupted into cheers after Trauger said she would impose no jail time. Trauger said she based her decision in part on his four years of service in the Navy and statements from those in his city and county.

Steve Crampton, a lawyer from the Thomas More Society representing Vaughn, read statements in support of Vaughn from his state representation, including Rep. Jody Barrett and Sen. Kerry Roberts.

During his remarks before the judge, Crampton asked for no jail time to be imposed and said that she should consider the “peaceful protest context” and that the Biden administration’s bringing of conspiracy against rights charges against the pro-lifers was “unprecedented.”

At the beginning of the sentencing, a witness from Carafem read a statement claiming that employees feared for their lives during the March 5 sit-in and that it was an “attempt at terror.” The facility asked for the judge to send a “strong signal” about the protest.

Vaughn still faces severe penalties for his convictions. As a felon, he can no longer vote or own a firearm. Trauger also imposed restrictions on travel and where he can go. He also cannot enter or be within 100 feet of an abortion facility or participate in any planning for any future sit-in. She also placed him on home detention, but allowed him to go to work and church and for other approved reasons.

At the protest where Vaughn was present, a group of pro-lifers gathered on the second floor of an office building in the hallway outside the Carafem abortion facility. The group prayed, sang hymns, and urged women showing up to the clinic not to get abortions. No one present was charged with committing any violence.


The Thomas More Society, which is representing Vaughn, is expected to appeal his conviction.

“We are pleased the judge has shown leniency to Paul at today’s sentencing hearing, and I know Paul is incredibly thankful to be able to celebrate Independence Day with his family. But it remains the case that his conviction is a deep injustice,” Crampton said. “The event for which the Biden Department of Justice targeted Paul and his fellow pro-lifers was a peaceful demonstration by entirely peaceable citizens—filled with prayer, hymn-singing, and worship — and oriented toward persuading expecting mothers not to abort their babies. For his witness to life, the FBI raided Paul’s home at gunpoint in front of his wife and children, then brought down the full weight of United States government to prosecute Paul.”

Before the sentencing on Tuesday, well over 100 pro-life supporters of Vaughn gathered to sing and pray outside the federal courtroom. They say songs like “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” and “Faith of Our Fathers.” There were a couple pro-abortion activists standing outside the courtroom as well, with one flying a rainbow scarf and another with a sign demanding the max amount of prison time for Vaughn. Vaughn briefly spoke with her and blessed her.

Several co-defendants of Vaughn, including Dennis Greene and Coleman Boyd, are all scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday by Trauger.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Judge Denies Biden Admin Attempt To Lock Up Peaceful Pro-Life Protester