Pro-Life Advocates Sent to Prison For Rescuing Babies

In 2020, ten anti-abortion advocates peacefully blocked the entrance to a late-term surgical abortion facility in Washington, DC to keep mothers from killing their preborn babies. Now nine of them have been charged with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) act and “conspiracy against civil rights.” They could face up to eleven years in prison.

Earlier today, John Hinshaw (middle, age 69), was sentenced to 21 months in prison and Lauren Handy (on the far right), was sentenced to over four years.

Although reasonable pro-life individuals may disagree with the tactics used by this group, one thing is clear: no one should be sent to prison for trying to peacefully save vulnerable preborn babies.

But don’t miss the irony here: nine pro-life activists (five of whom are over 60 years old) face up to eleven years in prison for “conspiracy against civil rights.” Yet those who make a living off cutting up little preborn babies for profit get off scot-free.

Social Media post by the Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America:

Thomas More Society:


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*This is an AI generated transcript, and may contain errors*

Mark Harrington (00:00):

We’ve got Breaking News and that is that nine Peaceful pro-life activists are being sentenced for violating the Freedom to Access Clinic entrances law. It’s happening right now and I’ve got a guest who represents one of those defendants here on the program today. You don’t want to miss today’s show.


You’re listening to your Radioactive with Mark Harrington on the Mark Harrington show. You can go to mark to follow me on social media and to watch or listen to the program. And we’re also on all the popular podcasting platforms. And when you tune into this show, what you’re going to get is breaking news. Sometimes it’s going to be what’s happening on the cutting edge of the pro-life movement and activism. That’s what I focus on because I am your radio activist. That’s what I do. I’m an activist in the pro-life movement have been for decades and many of us, if you’re following things in the pro-life movement, you are aware of what I’m going to be talking about today. And that is there are nine defendants that were convicted of violating the Freedom to Access Clinic entrances law a while back, and they are being sentenced this week.


Actually today, there’s several of them are going to be before the judge there in Washington DC and they’re going to be handing down sentences against them. And so I wanted to try to bring everybody up to speed as much as possible because every day it keeps changing. We’ve got people before the judge and the sentences are being handed down. So we do know a couple of things and that is that Lauren Handy, who’s a friend of ours here at Created Equal, she was a justice writer. I’ve known Lauren for a long time. Lauren’s a wonderful young lady that has served the Lord in this capacity for so very long, and she was sentenced on Monday. We want to talk primarily about her case. Of course, the other cases will come into play because they’re similar. And I have as my guest, a lead attorney for Lauren Handy who is with the Thomas Moore Society, and that is Martin Cannon. Martin, thanks for being on the program. I know it’s a busy time for you. You’re there in Washington, you’re in the courtroom, so we appreciate you taking a few minutes to step aside and fill us in if you would. Lauren handy. Tell us about her case and what’s going on there in Washington.

Martin Cannon (02:44):

Well, Lauren was sentenced yesterday. I’ve chuckling a little bit. You said I’m in the courtroom. Of course we have been, but right now I’m in my hotel room and don’t want your listeners to think this is what the inside of a courtroom looks like, but I’m heading back there in just a few minutes as soon as we’re done talking. But anyway, Lauren was the lead defendant in this case. She’s viewed as the leader of the rescue in question. She’s an absolutely remarkable young lady. The judge gave her 57 months in federal prison yesterday, eight and a half, nine of those months. She’s already served, so call it 50 months, that’s a little over four years. There are various things that Lauren is able to do while she’s in prison that will kind of chisel that time down. The judge also gave her three years of supervised release after her release, which is actually, it doesn’t sound too bad, but it’s a challenge because of course it’s got some limitations on what Lauren can do during that time.


And frankly, part of that we might have to challenge. It includes staying a thousand feet away, which is getting toward a quarter mile from any abortion facility and for three years after her release. So that’s a bit problematic and I’m sure we’ll be dealing with that. But I got to tell you, Lauren is an amazing, amazing, wonderful, lovely woman. After that sentencing, of course, she and I had a private visit in the little holding cell at the basement of the courthouse. She was all smiled. She was encouraged. She was practically giddy because she didn’t get the extra 20 months that she could have gotten. And because she knew that her fellow rescuers were going to be getting lower sentences than hers, and so she’s just happy as can be. And

Mark Harrington (04:42):

Her, go ahead. Let’s jump back a bit and explain what she was charged with as pro-life activists. All of us know the freedom to access clinic entrances law. Many who might be listening are not totally familiar with that. If you would give a quick background on what that law is, and she was charged with that along with conspiracy to obstruct civil rights or something of that nature. So if you would just tell us what she did supposedly and what she now is going to be spending time in prison for.

Martin Cannon (05:16):

Alright. Well, the underlying charge is the face charge. Face is freedom of access to clinic entrances act. It makes it usually a misdemeanor but possibly a felony to use force threat or physical obstruction to block somebody’s access to services or their provision of services because those services are reproductive healthcare. And of course, so that basically says you can’t block an abortion clinic. Okay? It arises out of the activities of the early nineties and so forth when people were doing that stuff. Interestingly though, it only applies to preventing somebody’s provision or receipt of reproductive healthcare. In this particular case, the San Angelo clinic is doing late term abortions, well after 18 weeks without using a chemical agent to kill the child ahead of time without dismembering the child, but just using labor induction drugs. There are two separate studies 10 years apart that indicate that in those circumstances, the rate of live births is 50% crazy.


And so these babies in San Angela Clinic that are getting aborted that late, which most of them probably are, and we know many of them are, have literally something like a 50% chance of being born alive. And San Angelo is on video saying he will not help those children. So there are two federal laws that he’s probably breaking Born Alive Infant Protection Act and somewhat unrelated or different issue, the partial birth abortion ban. And the judge has agreed with me, even the DOJ agreed with me that if that stuff’s going on and Lauren is trying to stop those things, she’s not violating face. Interesting. So that was agreed upon and restated by the court and the DOJ as recently as this week in the run up to the sentencings. So pretty important stuff. The problem is that the court would not let us put on the evidence to firm up Lauren’s concerns in that regard.


So Lauren takes the witness stand and she says, I think babies are being born alive and left to die there, but we can’t back her up with evidence. So she just sounds like a whack job and she’s not a whack job. So that’s what she was charged with. Now what did she do? She went into the clinic. There’s 10 people that were involved. They all went into the clinic. She made a fake appointment so they’d open the door to her and so forth. And then all the other people came in after her and they’re all sitting around in chairs singing and praying and got some pamphlets and stuff like that. Most of them are not blocking anything. A couple of them arguably did. But the DOJ wants to make all of them guilty of what a few of them might’ve done because understand going into a clinic and making a ruckus or even a quiet, peaceful scene sitting in chairs and not leaving is not a violation of face. It might be a trespass, it could be disorderly conduct, it could be any kind, anything. But it’s not face. Most pro-life activism, even pretty starchy stuff is not necessarily a violation of face. So the DOJ wants to wrap ’em all in. And this is where the conspiracy thing comes from. And I’ll tell you that the conspiracy charge makes it a felony 10 years to conspire, to violate somebody’s civil rights. And that’s the big charge here.

Mark Harrington (09:03):

That’s the big charge. And I want to get into that in a second, but friends, I just want you to think about something here, Lauren Handy. And the others are doing what they felt compelled to do between them and God, their own conscience to defend the unborn. A lot of us will stand in judgment over them saying, you shouldn’t break the law or you shouldn’t do this, you shouldn’t do that. Let’s make something clear. This is peaceful, passive, non peaceful resistance to injustice, which we have a storied history in this country and across the world where people do it and they’re justified in doing it in this case as well. And I just want people to step back and say, oh, well she this, that and the other. Oh, the tactic. Let’s set aside all that for now. The fact of the matter is she did what she was compelled to do.


It was peaceful, it was nonviolent. And in that way, to me, they’re heroes. We can talk about the tactic all we like, but she did what she was compelled to do and so did the others. And unfortunately now she’s going to be paying the price with some prison time. And again, I’m with Martin Cannon from the Thomas Moore Society who represents Lauren Handy, who has now been sentenced to 57 months in prison because they’re violation of face and the conspiracy to obstruct civil rights. So Martin, the charge that really, in my opinion probably more than the face charge, is the conspiracy charge. If you would explain that and tell me why since Roe v Wade’s been overturned, there is no federal right to abortion. Right? It’s not a constitution. How do they get away with that one?

Martin Cannon (10:54):

Well, they get away with it because this is the trial court and the appellate court has to fix it. The face act, both the Face Act and the conspiracy Act are predicated on this idea that there’s a constitutional right to abortion in the federal Constitution, the conspiracy act more strongly and more specifically. So when Dobbs wiped out this nonsense that Roe made up about a federal right to abortion, the Dobbs Court didn’t just say, there’s not a right hence force. And I got to point out this event that we’re talking about happened before Dobbs. So Roe was still the elephant in the room. I see. But Dobbs still matters because Dobbs didn’t say there’s no longer a constitutional right. Dobbs said there never was. So of course we filed good motions to dismiss based on the idea that the federal government no longer has an interest to protect and face has lost its constitutional underpinnings. That is not a hail Mary pass. That is a strong argument and we are going to be making it

Mark Harrington (12:03):

Right. And I understand that you’re going and there is a movement afoot to try to repeal the face law and I think rightly so, right? And hopefully this will bring a lot more emphasis in the effort to do that. There’s a lot of folks now that are starting to say, we got to get rid of this law. It’s unconstitutional. And so I assume that you folks are going to be pursuing that. Of course, right now you got this before you, again, I’m with Martin Cannon from the Thomas Moore Society and he represents Lauren Handy who has been now sentenced to 57 months in prison. Nine of those are going to be, she’s already served, so they’re going to give her credit for those. We’ve got other defendants who are facing similar things this week. I’m not going to go through each one. Friends, if you want to find out more, you can go to our webpages and Facebook and the other social media to find out those. But let’s quickly talk about a few of them. We got nine, nine total. Lauren’s one of them. Some of the others are facing sentencing this week. From what you can tell us about those cases, they’re similar if not identical to Lawrence, correct?

Martin Cannon (13:17):

They’re very similar. Interestingly, one of the things that she did, and we used it, we argued against the conspiracy largely based on this. Lauren wasn’t directing traffic in this thing. The d OJ says she was, but it really doesn’t bear too much scrutiny. She brought all these people together and told them, just do your own thing. If you want to block, fine, I’m not going to stop you. If you don’t want to block, I’m not going to make you. So there, this was a motley crew and they all did their own thing and that’s going to show up in the sentencing. A couple of them arguably did some blocking, but most of them did not. And so, I mean, I can talk about each of these defendants if you want. I know mostly what they did or didn’t do, but I don’t know how much time you got. I got plenty of time.

Mark Harrington (14:02):

Yeah. I don’t think it’s necessary to go through each one, but we’re all wonderful

Martin Cannon (14:07):

People, beautiful

Mark Harrington (14:08):

People, right. But I would like Mr. Producer, if you would put up the social media post by Susan B. Anthony. There’s Lauren Handy, and I want people to just, I’m going to read these folks off, okay. Their names and the reason being, I want people to be praying for these individuals absolutely. For what they’re facing. Listen, unless you’ve been in jail and I’ve been in jail for doing wrong things before I came to Jesus and I’ve been in jail for doing the right things and the pro-life stuff, not for long actually, but it is you’re, your freedoms are taken from you. You are at the whim and the control of people that you don’t know and you are taken place to place to place. You’ve lost all your freedom. You have no idea what that feels like unless you sit in a jail cell and they’ve already spent nine months in jail. Go ahead Martin.

Martin Cannon (15:03):

Lemme chime in on that. Just help your listeners get their brains around that. I’ve visited, I’ve come out here to DC a couple of times since the case to visit with Lauren Handy in her prison. The last time I did it, I gave her a hug as we ended our meeting. Now the wardens get a little excited about that, but Lauren was very moved because after that was the first physical human contact she had had in five months. Of course it hadn’t occurred to me, but this is what she’s dealing with, even among her cellmates and people when they’re out in the common area in the jail, just socializing, they can’t touch each other.

Mark Harrington (15:49):

Yes, the isolation’s got to be awful. It’s got to be awful. So we’ve got Lauren handy. Go on to the next one as we read them. John Hinshaw, according to reports, was sentenced to 21 months. Go ahead. Next. Rosemary Garrity goes by Herb has not been sentenced yet. I think maybe is on the docket today. Go ahead.

Martin Cannon (16:16):

Probably going on right now.

Mark Harrington (16:18):

Will Goodman sentenced 27 months, nine of those for time served. So he will spend 18 months. I know will very well. God bless. Will’s a wonderful guy. Amazing guy. Go ahead Next. Jonathan Darnell. We know him here at Created Equal. We’ve done lots of things with Jonathan over the years with our outreaches. Jonathan I think will likely, I think today’s possibly he’ll be sentenced. Move on. Jean Marshall. Don’t know Jean, but I’m sure a wonderful person to move on. Joan Andrews Bell. What an epic legend, Joan. Another one. I mean these people, this is just the thing that just blows my mind. These are political prisoners, friends. I want that to sink in. This is what’s happening in America now. The instrumentalities of government, specifically our Justice department, are being used against righteous, God loving America, loving people, and that’s what’s going on. And these folks are political prisoners. There’s no other way to put it. Go ahead. Next one. Paulette. Harlow next. Heather. Is it Adon? I think it’s Adon. Is that right? Yeah. So it tell us about Heather. I got reports that she has not been treated kindly in the jail. Give us an update on her.

Martin Cannon (17:53):

It’s always a challenge to get good medical care in prison or in jails. The wardens have a duty to do that, and I think they try, but it’s just tough and it, it’s just lousy medical care. But she had a stroke a couple weeks back, spent about a week in the hospital before being returned to custody. So I’m not sure what her actual condition is, but I could give you a story of the greatness and the beauty of each of these individual people. Different stories of each one. Heather’s is a good one. She was standing in front of the door, and I’m not spilling the beans or anything talking out of school here. She was standing in front of a second door in the hallway that’s just an exit door for the clinic workers to use. And one of the police officers was trying to bring this pregnant woman in through that door, and Heather was standing in front of it and he said, ma’am, very kindly. He said, ma’am, can you please step aside? This lady needs to get in. Heather stood there and she said, I can let people out, but I cannot let her in. She looked over to this woman, she put her hands out to order. She said, look at her. She’s so full of life. She was visibly pregnant. Look at her. She’s so full of life. I can’t let her in. At that moment, Heather was falling on her sword and going to prison

Mark Harrington (19:13):

For that child, for that woman,

Martin Cannon (19:15):

For that very child.

Mark Harrington (19:17):

See, I want these stories to get out. I want people to know who these folks are. They’re going to prison because of what they believed in. It should be inspiring to each one of us who defend the unborn to do more. We all have to answer to our Lord as to what we do. And these people responded in the way they felt was necessary, and they put their lives in the balance really, to be honest. I mean, and their freedoms are going to be taken away for a very long time, and they’re going to be isolated from the rest of society and can’t be out doing what they would normally be doing, which is rescuing children. And yet our culture calls ’em terrorists, right? These are the people that we ought to be worried about. These are the very people that we need in our society more than ever.


So Martin, I know you’re busy and I appreciate you taking the time this week. Of course, a very busy week with the sentencing of these nine individuals that have been convicted of face. If you would just give a call to action, a kind of wrap up things. I know you got to run to the courtroom if you would, and we will be in prayer for you and Lauren and all the other defendants. But if you would just give us some parting words here for those who are following this and those who aren’t now, that are aware that this is going on right now in our nation, where these people who love Jesus, love America, love the children, are going to be spending some serious time behind bars for what they believe.

Martin Cannon (20:59):

I would think we need to not see this as a near death blow to these activists putting ’em in their place and deterring further conduct. If you look at Lauren Handy’s website and what her fellow in arms Caroline Smith put out on their website, it’s absolutely beautiful. It was last night or maybe this morning. But here’s the thing. I think there’s ironic truth in the idea that face got us dobs.


Amen. When face was passed, it spawned a movement. It spawned an industry of pro-life activism that you’re part of, that Thomas Moore is part of true that Powell is part of it spawned and abortion never left the front pages for 50 years. It’s true because of the activism spawned and reformulated a little bit on account of face. We wouldn’t have Dobbs if the people hadn’t responded to face. The same thing can be true here. We need to keep going toward personhood and a federal constitutional amendment, whatever it’s going to be. And we need to use these convictions of these very best and brightest, pro-life martyrs to motivate us in that direction. They’re coming out prison. They’re coming out of prison. That’s right. And when they do, they need tick, ticker, tape parades and big parties and a big sendoff for whatever they’re going to do next.

Mark Harrington (22:44):

Well, as the scripture says, what the enemy used for evil, God can turn around and use for good? Absolutely. We trust in that, and we love to watch the witness of these folks who are facing this prison time. And before we go, let me pray real fast for them and for you, Martin, as you’re continuing to prosecute these cases in Jesus name, God, we ask that you would comfort these individuals who are facing serious time behind bars. We’re thankful, Lord, that there are men and women in our nation that care enough to put their freedoms aside if need be to defend women and children. This is what we’re called to do. If we truly claim to be your disciples, and we ask that you would convict everyone listening or watching the program today to do more, whatever that means to them, to do more and never, ever, ever give up. We thank you for Martin and the Thomas Moore society who take these cases and they’re tough ones, and that’s what they do. They defend people like me and others around the nation to continue the work of saving unborn children. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen. Martin, thank you so much. God bless you. We’ll be following everything and appreciate all the work you could do there at the Thomas Moore Society. You too, mark. Thanks for having me.


So friends, I hope that you’ll pray for the nine defendants who are facing prison time. Some of ’em have already been sentenced in Washington dc. I think we all agree this is a travesty of justice, that these are political prisoners. You might disagree with the tactics that they employed in their defense for the unborn, but I think that’s something that we can debate on another time. Something that we need to right now just recognize the commitment of these individuals in their defense of the unborn. And that’s the intent of my show. This is not a time to criticize the tactic of friends. I will say this, that the freedom to access clinic entrances law was handed down by Bill Clinton assigned by him in 1992. I remember it because I was part of the Operation Rescue Movement and it, for all intents and purposes, shut down civil disobedience in front of these abortion centers, blocking doors and so forth as a tactic to change the laws on abortion and save children because the price went way up.


And that is, we’re seeing that today where these individuals are facing some serious prison time for what they’ve done. But we do need to understand there’s a difference between civil disobedience that is breaking the law, which is unjust because you are attempting to defend another person. And that is, in many cases, justifiable. We have a lot of examples of those in scripture. What I call this is biblical obedience, not civil disobedience. And that is we all have our own conscience and our own way of deciding what we should and shouldn’t do as we follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And many of these people call, they claim the name of Jesus, and therefore, obviously they were compelled by their love of God and their love for their neighbor in doing what they did. And so continue to pray for them, pray for leniency as far as the judge goes, and that these acts of biblical obedience would spur others across our nation to do hard things in the name of Jesus Christ and the babies. And we’ll see you next time. God bless you. God bless America and remember America to bless God.

Outro (26:44):

You’ve been listening to Mark Harrington, your radio activist. For more information on how to make a difference for the cause of life, liberty and justice, go to created To follow mark, go to Mark Harrington Be sure to tune in next time for your marching orders in the culture war.