Justice Served: Anti-abortion extremists convicted for conspiring and blockading Tennessee abortion clinic

Ted Eytan, Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED

Six anti-abortion extremists were found guilty by a federal jury in Nashville for their obstruction of a local abortion clinic and intimidation of patients and staff. They face potential prison sentences of up to 11 years and fines of $250,000. Their sentencing is scheduled for July 2. Four others will be tried separately. 

On March 5, 2021, the group of anti-abortion extremists blockaded the Carafem Health Center Clinic in Mt. Juliet, verbally harassing and physically intimidating patients and employees for almost three hours. The extremists were found guilty of conspiring to violate the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which “prohibits violent, threatening, damaging and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with the right to seek, obtain or provide reproductive health services.” 

The Tennessee case follows the successful conviction in September 2023 by the U.S. Department of Justice of ten extremists involved in the violent invasion of Washington Surgi-Clinic. These federal obstruction cases are historic because most of the defendants are charged with engaging in a criminal conspiracy to violate the FACE Act, as well as violating the FACE Act itself. The conspiracy charges carry more substantial prison sentences and penalties.

The Feminist Majority Foundation spearheaded the research and policy analysis in the development of the FACE Act in 1994 and has been dedicated to the defense of abortion clinics over the past three decades. These convictions underscore ongoing legal efforts by the Department of Justice under the Biden administration to uphold reproductive health access amidst violent and unlawful attacks from anti-abortion groups.

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