The FBI Raids Another Pro-Life Activist's Home on Charges Trumped up by the DOJ

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

It appears the Department of Justice (DOJ) is combing through old pro-life protests and looking for opportunities to apply the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. Last week, they raided the home of pro-life activist and author Mark Houck with guns drawn, terrifying his wife and seven children. Now Live Action is reporting that the FBI raided the home of 73-year-old pro-life activist Chester Gallagher:

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Pro-life activist AJ Hurley spoke to Live Action News regarding today’s FBI activities, noting that according to the neighbors of pro-life rescue activist Chester (Chet) Gallagher, Gallagher was out of state when the FBI arrived with guns drawn and entered the Gallagher home.

When agents learned Gallagher was not at home, they reportedly attempted to gain information on his whereabouts from neighbors. The Mt. Juliet rescue was reportedly one of three led by Gallagher at different abortion facilities across the country last year.

The charges stem from a rescue event in March 2021. During rescue events, pro-life activists reach out to women seeking an abortion and attempt to persuade them to change their minds. The DOJ is charging Gallagher and six other pro-life activists who joined in the rescue event at a Carafem abortion facility in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., with “conspiracy against rights secured by the FACE Act, and committing FACE Act violations.”  The DOJ is charging four other participants with other violations under the Act.

The only home agents raided was Gallagher’s. The ten other participants reportedly received calls from the FBI instructing them to turn themselves in. A press release from the DOJ declares that all eleven individuals will appear in U.S. District Court in Nashville at a later date on charges that they “used force and physical obstruction to injure, intimidate, and interfere with employees of the clinic and a patient who was seeking reproductive health services.”

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Related: THIS IS NOT THE AMERICA I KNOW: Dozens of FBI Agents Raid Home of Catholic Pro-Life Activist as Children Scream in Terror

The parallels between this case and the Houck case are stunning. Like Houck, local law enforcement addressed the actions of Gallagher and the other participants at the time. The Philadelphia municipal court dismissed a private criminal complaint against Houck in July. Likewise, on the day of the event in Tennessee, officers arrested several participants on misdemeanor trespassing charges. There were no charges of verbal or physical assault against the protestors. After they posted bail, the protestors were released.

It appears both complaints are originating at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. As PJ Media’s Victoria Taft reported after the raid on Houck’s home, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke greenlit the case against him. During her confirmation, several Republican senators pointed out her past statements and positions, warning she would radicalize the Civil Right Division.

Now it seems that she and her division are digging through resolved cases and breathing new life into them using the FACE Act. As the DOJ press release on the Gallagher case notes, “This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by the Civil Rights Coordinator of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and trial Attorneys of the Department’s Civil Rights Division.”

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However, pro-life activist A.J. Hurley explained to Live Action that the cases are originating in the DOJ:

“The FBI isn’t even performing the investigations,” said Hurley. “The DOJ is doing their own investigations and using the FBI as their arm of that organization… Normally the FBI does an investigation, and if they find someone guilty of federal crimes, they issue warrants.” Instead, he says, “the DOJ is… sending local branches of the FBI with arrest warrants to be their strong arm.”

Hurley added, “This is a new tactic the DOJ has been throwing at pro-lifers to see if the charges stick.”

Republicans in Congress must immediately demand to know where these cases are originating and why federal agents are using such force in the arrests. Houck became aware of the charges against him and offered to turn himself in. In the new case, the FBI decided to use excessive force to attempt to arrest a 73-year-old while allowing the rest of the participants to come in voluntarily. Republicans should ask pointedly why the FBI made the decision to raid Gallagher’s home.

And finally, it is time to stop giving a pass to local FBI agents who participate in these raids. There comes a point where choosing not to stand is to make a stand. FBI field agents stood by while the Biden DOJ dropped cases against criminals who rioted, set fires, looted, and assaulted officers during the nationwide tantrum after the death of St. George Floyd. They remain silent as the administration takes no action to find members of Jane’s Revenge, the group claiming to attack pregnancy centers, or the criminals destroying churches.

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Yet they don their gear and roll up to the houses of nonviolent pro-life activists with guns drawn. Field agents are no longer passive actors simply taking orders. They are active participants in helping the Biden DOJ enforce two standards of justice. When Republicans take control of Congress next year, both agencies need radical reforms from the leadership suite in D.C. to the offices in the field.

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