Eight pro-life activists have been indicted on federal charges for blocking the entrance to an abortion clinic in Sterling Heights, Michigan, in August 2020, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday.
According to court documents, Calvin Zastrow, Chester Gallagher, Heather Idoni, Caroline Davis, Joel Curry, Justin Phillips, Eva Edl, and Eva Zastrow are charged with engaging in a civil rights conspiracy and with violating the FACE Act in connection with an August 2020 blockade of a reproductive health care clinic in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
In addition, Idoni and Edl were also charged with violating the FACE Act in connection with an April 2021 blockade of a reproductive health care clinic in Saginaw, Michigan.
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The indictment returned by a federal grand jury alleges that on Aug. 27, 2020, all eight defendants engaged in a conspiracy to prevent the Sterling Heights clinic from providing, and patients there from receiving, reproductive health services.
According to the indictment, Gallagher advertised the Sterling Heights clinic blockade on social media, and he and Curry live-streamed the incident.
The defendants convened at a location near the Sterling Heights clinic, where an uncharged co-conspirator who recorded the incident announced that the defendants were “going over to stand in front of the door” and “interpose.”
The indictment also alleges that all eight defendants violated the FACE Act by using physical obstruction to intimidate and interfere with the Sterling Heights clinic’s employees and patients, because the clinic’s employees were providing, and the patients were seeking, reproductive health services.
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The indictment further alleges that on April 16, 2021, Idoni and Edl again used physical obstruction to intimidate and interfere with patients and employees of the Saginaw clinic because the clinic’s employees were providing, and patients were seeking, reproductive health services.
The DOJ did not respond for comment.
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