Pro-Life Rescuer Denied Emergency Release from Jail

( – A Washington, DC, federal appellate court denied on September 22 an emergency motion on behalf of pro-life activist Lauren Handy, who is represented by Thomas More Society attorneys. The 29-year-old woman sought her immediate freedom from jail, where she has been held pending sentencing after authorities convicted her for trying to stop an abortion procedure in a pro-choice health center in the United States’ capital city.

Her arrest took place in October 2020, during a pro-life protest where Handy and nine other anti-abortion protesters held pro-life signs and expressed their disagreement with the Washington clinic’s abortion services. According to an October 2022 indictment of the group, the 29-year-old pro-lifer blocked patients from entering the waiting room, while the other protesters chained themselves together inside the health center. The indictment also noted that a nurse of the clinic had to sprain her ankle after one of the demonstrators allegedly pushed her.

In a statement, Thomas More Society Senior Counsel Steve Crampton said that while the legal team feels “disappointed” for the denial of Handy’s emergency release from jail, they will keep pushing for this measure. He also said they will “fight on,” as he believes they will eventually “prevail.”

About the next steps to take, Crampton said that the legal team has already filed an expedited appeal, following the motion’s denial; and pointed out that two other Lauren’s defendants were included in the filing. According to different reports, the deadline for submitting the brief for the expedited appeal is October 2.

Authorities detained Handy and four other co-defendants on August 29, after a Washington, DC jury found all of them guilty of conspiracy against “rights,” and violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. This one is a law created during the administration of former President Bill Clinton, which prohibits protesters from blocking access to abortion clinics and places of religious worship. Republicans claimed at the time that this law could eventually endanger Americans’ right to protest and freedom of speech.

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