Pro-Lifer Who Agreed To Cooperate With Biden DOJ Against Fellow Activists Avoids Prison
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Pro-life activists try to block the sign of a pro-choice activist during the 2018 March for Life January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. Activists gathered in the nation's capital for the annual event to protest the anniversary of the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in 1973.
Credit: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

The pro-life activist who cooperated with the Biden administration’s Justice Department for its prosecution of her fellow pro-life activists over their peaceful demonstration at a Tennessee abortion facility will avoid prison time.

Caroline Davis was sentenced on Wednesday to three years of probation and no fine in a federal court in Nashville by Federal Judge Aleta Trauger. Before her deal with the DOJ, Davis faced a felony conspiracy charge that could have landed her in prison for over 10 years for her role in a peaceful pro-life protest at the Carafem abortion facility in Mt Juliet, Tennessee on March 5, 2021.

She previously pled guilty to misdemeanor conspiracy to block access to an abortion facility and misdemeanor aiding and abetting the blocking of access to an abortion facility. Her testimony was a critical component of the government’s prosecution of 10 pro-lifers who were at Carafem, including six who face over a decade in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

Sentencing took less than 30 minutes, with the DOJ agreeing to the conditions requested by Davis.

Trauger agreed to let her probation period begin on October 5, 2022, when she was first arrested. Davis will pay a $20 special assessment for the case, typical for federal misdemeanors. Under conditions of her probation, Davis must also undergo mental health treatment.

The March 2021 protest involved a group of demonstrators gathered on the second floor of an office building in the hallway outside Carafem in Mt. Juliet. The group, including Davis, prayed, sang hymns, and urged women showing up to the clinic to not get abortions. Several sat in front of doors to the facility and against the walls of the hallway.

Davis was given the opportunity to make a statement on Wednesday, and she described a difficult upbringing where she said she experienced abuse. She said that this abuse contributed to her joining a “cult-like” group after she turned 18 that promoted civil disobedience. At the same time she said that her husband was unfaithful to her, leading to a divorce. She said that the federal indictments over her pro-life activism caused her to change her life.

Davis also “sincerely apologized” for “the crime I pled guilty to,” and said that she had “harmed others for personal gain” during the protest at Carafem. She said that her stance on abortion had not changed and asked Trauger “for mercy and grace.”

Trauger said that she was “proud” of Davis and called her “very articulate” and an “inspiring figure.”

Davis’s boyfriend and two of her codefendants, Paul Vaughn and Paul Place, were in attendance at the sentencing hearing. No proof or witnesses were part of the sentencing hearing.

The FACE Act is a Clinton-era law that is frequently used against pro-lifers protesting outside of abortion facilities. Six of Davis’s codefendants, who were convicted in February, face up to 10.5 years in prison and fines of up to $260,000 when sentenced in July.

Davis also testified in a one-day bench trial for four others involved in the demonstration earlier this month. Those four — Eva Edl, Eva Zastrow, James Zastrow, and Place — were convicted of violating the FACE Act and face up to six months in prison and a $10,000 fine upon sentencing in July.

During her testimony in January, Davis claimed that she had a change of heart about attending the Carafem demonstration. She said her “rational side” was “in the toilet” at the time of her participation. She also said that she changed her mind “over time” and that being indicted by the federal government “terrified” her.


In cross-examination, Davis became repeatedly exasperated with the questions from defense lawyers, especially when asked about how many times she met with the government before the trial. When asked about a previous meeting with the prosecution and about how long it was, she said, “I have a busy life,” and replied “Oh my God” when asked about another meeting with the government. At one point, Trauger told her to just answer the question and not add any commentary to her answers.

No one present at Carafem was arrested for assault or any assault-related charge. Davis said the most violence she saw was when a police officer moved two pro-lifers aside when taking a woman down the hallway to the abortion facility. Davis was also a key witness in a similar Washington, D.C., abortion facility FACE Act trial where she again pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge in exchange for her testimony.

The convictions have prompted calls from Republican lawmakers to repeal the FACE Act, saying that it has been weaponized to target pro-lifers.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Pro-Lifer Who Agreed To Cooperate With Biden DOJ Against Fellow Activists Avoids Prison