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Pro-Life Advocate Joan Andrews Bell Leaves Sentencing Singing ‘Ave Maria,’ Receives Standing Ovation

Joan Andrews Bell/Image: Courtesy of LifeSiteNews

Seven pro-life activists were sentenced to prison this week for protesting at a late-term abortion clinic in 2020.

Under the Biden Regime, the DOJ has weaponized the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. This 1994 law prohibits interfering with anyone obtaining or providing “reproductive health services,” as a punishment for the Supreme Court’s reversal of  Roe v. Wade in June 2022.

After the Supreme Court ruling, Biden formed the DOJ-led Reproductive Rights Task Force to enforce the act.

According to The Epoch Times, the FACE Act has now been used 130 times against pro-life individuals but only used three times against pro-abortion protesters.

The activists were convicted of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act and “conspiracy against rights” for a sit-in protest at the Surgi-Clinic in Washington, D.C.

The Gateway Pundit reported that in September 2023, Jonathan Darnel, 41, of Arlington, Virginia.; Jean Marshall, 73, of Kingston, Massachusetts; Joan Andrews Bell, 76, of Montague, New Jersey, were each convicted of a felony conspiracy against rights and a FACE Act offense.

On Wednesday, Bell left her sentencing singing ‘Ave Maria’ as supporters gave her a standing ovation. Bell was sentenced to 27 months in jail, community service, and a $125 fine which she said she will not pay.

Life Site News reports:

“In court … Joan said to the judge, ‘In conscience, I cannot pay any fine. Also, I cannot accept probation as it violates my conscience.’”

When U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia Colleen Kollar-Kotelly also informed Joan Bell that she would have to do community service, the pro-life prisoner “quietly, yet forcefully” explained that she would not do it.

According to Christopher Bell, Joan said: “It violates my conscience. I cannot do something in reparation for something that the court should be doing: protecting children.” She also said that she would not volunteer for probation, as she did not agree that she had done “anything bad.”

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He continued: “As Joan was taken out of the courtroom, the entire gallery of onlookers, as if one body, erupted in applause as they gave her a standing ovation and many, including me, were saying, ‘I love you, Joan.’  She left looking back and singing ‘Ave, Ave, Maria.’”

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