76-Years-Old Pro-Life Activist Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Blocking Abortion Clinic – EVOL

Joan Bell, described as the “matriarch of pro-life activism,” received a 27-month prison sentence on May 15 for her involvement in obstructing access to an abortion clinic in October 2020.

Alongside her, six others, including Lauren Handy, who organized and led the event, also received sentences. These events, often referred to as “rescues,” aim to impede access to abortions and prevent women from going through with their appointments. Tactics employed during such events can differ; for instance, the 2020 incident involved the use of bike locks and other implements to obstruct access.

Ms. Bell, aged 76, was a trailblazer in the rescue movement and was described as an iconic figure by the Justice Department at her sentencing. D.C. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly sentenced her to 27 months in prison and ordered her to complete 100 hours of community service.

Ms. Bell informed the judge that she refused to fulfill her community service or adhere to probation terms because she viewed it as an admission of guilt, a stance she couldn’t morally endorse. In response, the judge warned her that failure to comply with the court’s sentencing could result in a return to prison and suggested that Ms. Bell might lose



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