Republican Rep. Chip Roy introduced a bill Tuesday that would repeal the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been using to convict pro-life activists.
The FACE Act, which was enacted in 1994, “prohibits threats of force, obstruction and property damage intended to interfere with reproductive health care services” and has been used in recent weeks to convict several pro-life activists. Roy told the DCNF in a prepared statement that he introduced the bill because Americans should not “live in fear’ that the government may come after them over their beliefs.
“Yet, Biden’s Department of Justice has brazenly weaponized the FACE Act against normal, everyday Americans across the political spectrum, simply because they are pro-life,” Roy said. “Our Constitution separates power between the federal government and the states for a reason, and we ignore that safeguard at our own peril. The FACE Act is an unconstitutional federal takeover of state police powers; it must be repealed.”
The bill would also repeal “any prosecution of an offense that is pending on, or commenced on or after, the date of enactment of this Act.” Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah will introduce a twin version of the bill in the Senate today, The Daily Signal first reported.
On Aug. 29, a D. C. jury found Lauren Handy and four other activists guilty of violating the act in 2020 after they locked the gates to the Washington Surgi-Clinic in Washington to prevent abortions from taking place that day. Three other pro-lifers, two of which are over the age of 70, were also convicted on Sept. 15 for blocking the entrance to a clinic in 2022 and face up to 11 years in prison and as much as $350,000 in fines, according to the Catholic News Agency.
The DOJ also charged Catholic father Mark Houck in 2022 under the act after conducting an early morning raid of his house following an abortion clinic volunteer accusing Houck of assaulting him. Houck was indicted in September 2022, but a a jury acquitted Houck of all charges several months later in January.
Lee did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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