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An anti-abortion activist who orchestrated a clinic blockade has been sentenced to nearly five years behind bars

Lauren Handy,Terrisa Bukovinac, Jonathan Darnell, and Randall Terry (Via Joyner Hazelwood/Getty Images)

A woman named Lauren Handy, known for her strong anti-abortion views, was sentenced to almost five years in prison on Tuesday. She led a group that blocked a reproductive health clinic in Washington, D.C. in October 2020. Police found five fetuses at her home during their investigation.

During the blockade, a clinic nurse injured her ankle when one of Handy’s accomplices forced his way inside and pushed her. Another person prevented a woman in labor from entering the clinic. Inside, Handy instructed others to use locks and chains to block the doors, and the incident was livestreamed on social media. Police eventually arrested everyone involved after several hours.

Before her sentencing by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, Handy chose not to speak.

A protest sign reads in Spanish (Via Pablo Winter/Shutterstock)

The judge emphasized that Handy was being punished for her actions, not her beliefs, stating that the law does not protect violent or obstructive behavior.

Prosecutors recommended a sentence of about six years, describing Handy as an extremist who orchestrated the blockade to promote her anti-abortion agenda and inspire similar actions. A jury convicted Handy on charges of conspiracy against rights and violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act).

In contrast, Handy’s defense lawyers sought a one-year sentence, highlighting her compassion for vulnerable communities.

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