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Allison Bailey via Reuters Connect
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Allison Bailey via Reuters Connect
USA News

Abortion activist handed 57-month sentence

by Lydia Davies

Lauren Handy, a prominent anti-abortion activist from Virginia and self-proclaimed Catholic has received a 57-month sentence for leading a blockade at a Washington abortion clinic, marking her longest prison term to date for similar offences.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who issued the sentence on 14th May, critiqued Handy and her co-defendants for their actions, stating: "Your views took precedence over, frankly, their human needs."

During her sentencing, Handy refrained from commenting. However, her supporters in the courtroom vocalised their support, with Monica Miller of Red Rose Rescue proclaiming: "You're a hero, Lauren!"

In response to the sentence, Martin Cannon of the Thomas More Society who represented Handy expressed intent to appeal. In a prepared statement he said: "For her efforts to peacefully protect the lives of innocent preborn human beings, Ms. Handy deserves thanks, not a gut-wrenching prison sentence."

Handy's arrest stems from violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) by preventing access to Washington Surgi-Clinic. The act mandates severe penalties for obstructing reproductive health services access.

The blockade involved chains, bike locks and furniture to impede entry into the clinic. It was live-streamed on Facebook by Handy who later gained further attention when she disclosed having recovered the bodies of five late-term foetuses from medical waste.

Handy's actions have been part of her role as director of activism for Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising. The federal indictment detailed her coordination with others for the event including lodging arrangements and recruitment.

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