The FBI has charged abortion activists for allegedly blocking the doors of an abortion clinic in Tennessee.
A statement from Biden’s Department of Justice reads: “A federal indictment unsealed today charges eleven individuals with violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin, for the Middle District of Tennessee and Kristen M. Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. ”
The indictment, returned on Monday by a federal grand jury sitting in Nashville, charges the following seven individuals with conspiracy against rights secured by the FACE Act, and committing FACE Act violations.
FBI arrests 11 pro-life activists after allegedly blocking clinic from access Chester Gallagher, 73, of Lebanon, Tennessee; Heather Idoni, 58; Calvin Zastrow, 57; and Caroline Davis, 24; all of Michigan; Coleman Boyd, 51, of Bolton, Mississippi; Dennis Green, 56, of Cumberland, Virginia; and Paul Vaughn, 55, of Centerville, Tennessee with conducting the anti-abortion protest.
The indictment also charges the following individuals with committing FACE Act violations: Eva Edl, 87, of Aiken South Carolina; Eva Zastro, 24, of Dover, Arkansas; James Zastro, 25, of Eldon, Missouri; and Paul Place, 24, of Centerville, Tennessee.
All defendants will have appearances scheduled in U.S. District Court in Nashville at a later date.
The indictment alleges that, “beginning in February 2021, Chester Gallagher utilized social media to promote a series of anti-abortion events scheduled for March 4-7, 2021, in the Nashville area. Other co-conspirators then utilized Facebook to coordinate travel and logistics and to identify other participants for the blockade. On March 4, 2021, Coleman Boyd and Chester Gallager advertised the blockade of the Carafem Health Center Clinic, in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, which was planned for the following day. In his social media post, Gallagher referred to the blockade as a “rescue.” Boyd also began a Facebook livestream broadcast of the clinic blockade at 7:45 a.m. on March 5, 2021. This livestream broadcast was titled, in part, “Mt. Juliet, TN Rescue March 5, 2021,” and livestreamed the blockade event as his coconspirators and others blocked the clinic’s entry doors and prevented a patient and an employee from entering. The livestream also broadcast members of the group attempting to engage a patient and her companion as Boyd told his livestream audience that the patient was a “mom coming to kill her baby,”
The indictment further alleges that on March 5, 2021, the 11 individuals, aided and abetted by one another, used force and physical obstruction to injure, intimidate, and interfere with employees of the clinic and a patient who was seeking reproductive health services.
If convicted, those charged with conspiracy face up to 11 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. Others face up to one year in prison for the misdemeanor offense and fines of up to $10,000.
This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by the Civil Rights Coordinator of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and trial Attorneys of the Department’s Civil Rights Division.
An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.