HomeLatest News75-Year-Old Woman Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Protesting Abortion Clinic

75-Year-Old Woman Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Protesting Abortion Clinic

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The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution says:

No excessive bail, no excessive fines, and no cruel or unusual punishments will be inflicted.

One has to deal with the U.S. District Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia. Paulette Harlow, of Kingston, Massachusetts was sentenced to two years of prison on Friday in an apparent case of cruel and unjust punishment. Mrs. Harlow, 75, is in bad health and the court has allowed her to be under house arrest so that her husband can take care of her.

No more. She is now behind bars. Her crime?

The US District Court sentenced a 75-year old pro-life activist to two years of prison for violating Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. Paulette Harlow, from Kingston, Massachusetts, was one of 10 individuals convicted for “conspiracy”. The group was attempting to prevent women from entering an abortion center in Washington, DC.

Harlow is under house arrest due to her poor health since her conviction. The court ignored her husband’s pleas for leniency. John Harlow stated, “I feel as if Paulette is about to die.” In my heart, she seems to be struggling to stay alive. LiveAction reported that he is her caregiver and that he said he would care for her even in prison.

He said, “We have tried to be good citizens.” “I love my wife dearly. She has made me do more than I would have otherwise done to help others.” He said, “We are throwing ourselves at the mercy of court.”

It would seem that the court is not showing much mercy right now.

The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) prohibits three actions regarding protestors in abortion clinics.

1) the use or threat of force or obstruction of a physical nature to intentionally harm, intimidate, interfere with, or attempt to hurt, intimidate or hinder any person who has obtained an abortion; (2) the use or threat of force or obstruction of a physical nature to intentionally harm, intimidate and interfere with, or to attempt to hurt, intimidate and interfere with, any person exercising their First Amendment rights of religious freedom in a religious place of worship or to try to do so, (3) the deliberate destruction or damage of a reproductive

What is most concerning about all of this is proportionality. Is this protest enough to send an elderly woman into prison? Is it fair to send an elderly woman to prison for protesting? After watching my parents, who had been married for 71-years, spend their last years with each other, and what happened to Mom when Dad died, I can understand how a separation of an elderly couple could be traumatic. It could be a life-threatening experience.

Where are the sentences of two years in prison for those who block streets, take over colleges, and invade public buildings as the latest leftist outrage over the Israel-Hamas conflict? Where is the sentence of Raz Simone who, in 2020, took over an entire part of Seattle, establishing himself as a de-facto warlord?

A woman in her 80s gets 2 years in prison because she protested, but so many other young people, in excellent physical (if no mental) health, just walk away. This is the definition of cruel punishment.

The same judge sentenced the co-protesters of Mrs. Harlow, who received similar prison sentences.

Harlow’s sentence was handed down by Judge Colleen Kollar Kotelly, who is seated in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. This judge also presided and sentenced the eight other protesters found guilty.

It’s not the FACE Act or the verdict that matters. It is unfair and unjust to send a woman this old, in poor health to prison. It would be humane to place her under house arrest so that her husband could continue to take care of her and they could continue to share their final years together. This was not an act of violence, nor was it a crime motivated by avarice or cruelty. There is no evidence to suggest that Mrs. Harlow led a criminal life.

It seems that mercy and equal treatment in the eyes of the law, as well as proportionality, have been dead for a while.

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