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Biden's DOJ Is Targeting These Pro-Life Leaders

Townhall Media

President Joe Biden's weaponized Justice Department is threatening to throw the book in a Jan. 6-esque political prosecution of elderly God-worshipping Americans who dared to stand up for innocent unborn life. It's another example of the two-tiered justice system in Biden's divided America, while pro-abortion extremists are free to terrorize communities.


Instead of charging the far-left Antifa terrorists that are firebombing pregnancy crisis centers across post-Roe America and disturbing the suburban residences of our Supreme Court justices, the Biden administration's so-called Department of Justice is targeting peaceful pro-life activists—many of which are eligible for full AARP membership.

11 pro-life advocates were indicted by Biden's DOJ last week for peacefully demonstrating at an abortion clinic in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, last year. A federal indictment unsealed last Wednesday charges the pro-life defendants with violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, alleging that the activists "aided and abetted by one another, used force and physical obstruction to injure, intimidate and interfere with employees of the clinic and a patient who was seeking reproductive health services," also known as killing unborn infants. You might be tempted to believe the Biden administration's anti-life rhetoric. But documentary evidence says otherwise. Fortunately, Townhall saved the receipts.

Here's who is among the grandparents and Christian street preachers facing federal charges: several missionaries, a survivor of the communist concentration camps, a mother of 10 adopted children, and a former stage 4 cancer patient.

The federal indictment, which was returned last Monday by a federal grand jury, accuses the following pro-life defendants of committing FACE Act violations: Chester "Chet" Eugene Gallagher, 73, of Tennessee; Eva Edl, 87, of South Carolina; Heather Ruth Idoni, 58 of Michigan; Calvin "Cal" John Zastrow, 61, of Michigan; Paul Vaughn, 55, of Tennessee; Dennis Earl Green, 56, of Virginia; Coleman Boyd, 50, of Mississippi; Eva Zastrow, 24, of Arkansas; James "Jimmy" Zastrow, 25, of Missouri; Caroline Davis, 24, of Michigan; and Paul Place, 24, of Tennessee.

Gallagher, Idoni, Calvin Zastrow, Boyd, Davis, Vaughn, and Green were also charged with "a civil rights conspiracy" for "engage[ing] in a conspiracy to prevent the clinic from providing" and patients from receiving abortions. " According to the indictment, as part of the purported "conspiracy," several of the pro-life defendants traveled to Tennessee from other states to participate in an activist "blockade" that Gallagher, Idoni, and others organized in front of the abortion facility.

In February of last year, Gallagher used social media to promote a series of pro-life events scheduled between March 4 and March 7, 2021, in the Nashville area, the indictment alleges. Other supposed "co-conspirators" then utilized Facebook to "coordinate travel and logistics" as well as to recruit other participants for the Carafem Health Center Clinic blockade, which was referred to as a pro-life "rescue" in the online posts that advertised the scheduled sit-in protest.

This is what the pro-life blockade looked like: (Terrifying, right?)

Boyd started a Facebook Live broadcasting the demonstration on the morning of March 5, 2021, and live streamed the event as the pro-life "rescuers" sat on the floor, blocking the abortion clinic's entry doors and preventing an apparent abortion-seeker and an employee from entering. Watch the horror unfold as the pro-life participants sing church hymns:

All of the 11 defendants will have appearances scheduled in U.S. District Court at a later date, the DOJ announced. If convicted of the alleged federal offenses, the seven "conspiracy" defendants face up to a maximum of 11 years in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $350,000. The remaining five pro-life defendants face a year behind federal bars, one-year supervised release, plus a fine costing as much as $10,000 upon conviction.

What did the scene on the ground look like to trigger an FBI investigation and trial attorneys in the DOJ's civil rights division to prosecute this local case? Unlike the widespread destruction carried out by pro-abortion extremists, the peaceful pro-life activists didn't vandalize property or threaten the lives of conservative-leaning Supreme Court justices.

Vaughn, the president of Personhood Tennessee, told FOX Chattanooga at the time of the blockade that it was "like church service in there" with pro-life protestors "singing hymns, reading scripture, praying," and also sitting on the floor in the hallway outside of the abortion clinic, which is located within Providence Medical Pavilion, an office building.


Vaughn further elucidated in a video interview that the assembly of Christians from different denominations came together to perform an act of "biblical obedience" to "rescue children that were scheduled to die" at the abortion clinic that day.

"We laid down our freedoms and said that, 'If babies were going to die here today, it was going to be necessary that they had a Christian witness that somebody would show them an act of kindness, an act of love, and try to save that little baby's life.' That was the purpose of what we were doing," Vaughn stated in the live FOX Chattanooga interview, emphasizing that the effort was to both "save lives" and "bring [the pro-life cause] to the public discourse."

Mt. Juliet Police Chief James Hambrick described the event to The Wilson Post as "peaceful and orderly." 

Among the almost two dozen pro-life activists at the "life-saving rescue attempt," nine adults and four teenage minors who refused to leave the premises were charged with trespassing. Local law enforcement responded by prompting a shelter-in-place order at the business and road closures. (Some adults were also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor while the teens were issued juvenile citations.) Gallagher, Edl, Green, Idoni, Davis, Place, and all three Zastrows (Calvin, Eva, and James) were taken into police custody in the state's Wilson County.

Edl is a survivor of communism who escaped from Yugoslavia's concentration camps in the wake of World War II. In "one of the darkest hellholes of a communist death camp, Eva found Jesus," the 87-year-old's biography says.

When she was rescued, Edl encountered "another genocide behind the doors of death camps also propped up by godless laws and funded by the government" in the U.S., where she "felt the call of God to lay down her life to rescue unborn children, just as others laid down their [lives] to rescue her." Now known as a pro-life icon in the current rescue movement, Edl has been arrested over 40 times (at least 46 arrests) for blockading abortion clinics.

Now devoting her time to fighting the "American abortion Holocaust," Edl "remembers the days when no one stood up for her." Edl and Idoni generated headlines just last year for blocking the door of an abortion mill in Saginaw, Michigan, on a chilly spring day. A facility manager "shoved the door" where Edl was sitting, LifeSiteNews reports. Edl "did not get hurt, praise God for that," said Idoni, who stretched herself in mid-April 2021 in front of the entryway to the Women's Center of Saginaw and Flint. A sign they brought to the abortion mill read: "We are here in peaceful defense of the lives of pre-born children...Does the firefighter race into a fire to protest...the fire? No, but to save endangered lives and put out the fire."

Idoni was named in a separate two-count federal indictment at the end of March this year for blocking access to the Washington Surgi-Center, an abortion facility in Washington, D.C., whose website advertises abortions through the 27th week of pregnancy. The nine defendants, including Idoni, were charged with "conspiracy against rights" plus a FACE Act offense for the October 2020 "invasion," as the DOJ describes. According to a DOJ press release, Idoni and others "forcefully entered the clinic and set about blockading two clinic doors using their bodies, furniture, chains, and ropes."

Under indictment, Idoni asked a federal judge if she could travel to Ukraine on a humanitarian mission trip to provide aid and supplies to refugees. Federal authorities confiscated Idoni's passport, and she was required to obtain the court's permission for any travel outside the continental U.S. The court denied Idoni's international travel request in April but acknowledged that while the defendant's "commitment to volunteerism is admirable," a status hearing in the case was set for later that month, WUSA reported. Idoni, who would have served as an interpreter due to her knowledge of the Russian language, has 10 sons adopted from different areas of Ukraine—one living in a war-torn country.

Idoni owns Beloved Books, an independent bookstore that has turned into a Ukraine relief center. 10 FBI agents reportedly raided her small Christian bookstore on March 30, and she was detained in federal jail.


Vaughn's house was descended upon in an early morning FBI raid at around 7:20 a.m. last Wednesday when four armed FBI agents approached Vaughn's family home with "guns drawn" in front of his children and "began banging on his door so hard that it made the old farmhouse shake," a Personhood Alliance press statement sent to Townhall says.

Townhall has obtained exclusive footage of the FBI raid on Vaughn's family residence just before school drop-off.

"I want to know why you were banging on my door with a gun," Vaughn's wife says to an FBI agent in the video. "You're not going to tell me anything?" Then the FBI agent claims: "I tried, ma'am." Vaughn's wife objects, "No, you didn't! You did not try!" She approaches the government vehicle carrying Vaughn in the back seat. "This is not acceptable," she states. 

Moments later, Vaughn's wife asks another FBI agent, who ignores her while walking to a vehicle, for his name. "You're not going to give me your name? You're not going to give me any information?" she questions as they drive away.

The 55-year-old father of 11, who was home with his family when the federal agents raided his place, was never arrested at the March 2021 pro-life protest. Instead of sitting in, he worked as a peacekeeper to mediate between the rescuers and the police to "ensure everyone's safety." No one was hurt, and nothing was damaged as a result. According to his parent organization's press release, a rescue is "a peaceful form of protest that involves non-violent pro-life protesters engaging in America's long-standing tradition of opposing injustice with peaceful civil disobedience."

Vaughn shared his family's account of the FBI raid with Townhall just before the father was about to take his children to school. According to a statement provided to Townhall, Vaughn was handcuffed on the porch in front of his kids after the FBI raided the Vaughn family property while carrying assault rifles and side arms. Three of Vaughn's children were outside walking through the backyard when an FBI agent armed with an AR-15 confronted the kids and questioned them. Several kids were asleep upstairs, and one child ran to her mother frantically crying, "The FBI is here, and they are arresting Daddy." Vaughn's wife remarked, "They traumatized me and my children intentionally. We will never forget this."

His wife, shaking and fighting back tears, said she demanded to know what was happening. Still, the FBI agents refused to answer why they were there, did not identify themselves, did not show badges, provided no proof of a warrant, and did not say where they were taking her husband, Vaughn said. Vaughn was placed in an SUV wearing his undershirt and jeans with no identification or means of communication when he got whisked away within a 10-minute timeframe.

According to Vaughn, the family did not receive official information about the cause of the raid or Vaughn's whereabouts until six hours after the arrest. He said he was held in a federal holding facility, brought before a judge, charged, and then released without a wallet or a cell phone 60 miles from his Hickman County home.

"For over six hours, no one knew where I was and why I was kidnapped from my home at gunpoint. It took a good attorney six hours to be able to break through the bureaucracy and find the people who know what was going on," Vaughn told Townhall. In the meantime, his searching wife had to console their children left "shaken" and crying.

Courtesy of Paul VaughnA fundraising campaign has since been launched on the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo to support the peace-seeking family man and small business owner. Vaughn pled not guilty to the charges and is searching for the right legal team to fight the legal battle "to the fullest." In a statement to Townhall, Vaughn called the FBI "paid thugs of an out-of-control Justice Department" that "must be reined in immediately." Vaughn said he would have turned himself in or showed up when summoned to appear. "There were no legitimate reasons for their abusive and excessive show of force," he said.

"The Justice Department is in charge by definition of defending that which is good and prosecuting that which is evil. That is a basic definition of justice. When justice is weaponized, you cease to have justice. In the absence of justice, you have tyranny.  It is not as complicated as many want to make it," Vaughn told Townhall, encouraging others to call their representatives and demand the impeachment of U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. "If you are an oppressive regime and wanted to strike fear and suppress any opposition and dissent, this is exactly the path to take," he declared.

The home of 73-year-old Gallagher, a former Las Vegas police officer and now a missions pastor, was raided Wednesday morning by FBI agents who had "guns drawn," a friend of those charged told The Daily Signal.

Gallagher's lengthy history of pro-life activism stretches back to 1989 when he was a traffic cop arrested for joining a protest outside of a Las Vegas abortion clinic.  "I have a sworn responsibility to protect human life," said Gallagher, who was assigned to duty elsewhere but rode a police motorcycle to the pro-life protest site, per Deseret News.

Along with Calvin and Eva Zastrow, the septuagenarian was previously charged on Jan. 27 with trespassing at a Planned Parenthood location in Fort Myers, Florida, and arrested on an out-of-county warrant, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office arrest database. In late January, the pro-life rescuers sat in front of Planned Parenthood's door, blocked the entrance, and wouldn't budge when asked by deputies to move. (Boyd filmed the rescue and subsequent arrests.)

According to court records viewed by Townhall, Gallagher, Green, Idoni, and Calvin Zastrow are set to stand trial before a Pulaski County jury in Arkansas on Nov. 2 on misdemeanor trespassing charges for protesting at Little Rock Family Planning Services, another abortion clinic, where the group was arrested on Jan. 15, 2021. The trespass charge is a Class C misdemeanor, roughly the equivalent of a speeding ticket, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

The court docket says that the pro-life defendants—none of whom attended the proceeding—were found guilty at trial in February. Each pro-life defendant was fined $350 and sentenced to one day in jail with 29 days suspended. They've since appealed the convictions to the circuit court, which entitles the defendants to a full jury trial, per ArkansasOnline.com.

Years earlier, the town of Jackson, Wyoming, agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Operation Save America and Gallagher, who's part of the pro-life fundamentalist Christian organization's leadership team, over the reverend's arrest during a 2011 pro-life protest after municipal officials secured a state court order barring anti-abortion protestors from appearing on the town square, according to KSL.com. (The state's Supreme Court ruled a year before that the lower court order banning pro-life demonstrators from public areas violated their rights.) "The (court) judgment says that Chet Gallagher was right and the government was wrong," Gallagher's lawyer stated.

Two years ago, Gallagher, Davis, Idoni, Edl, and the Zastrows were arrested for forming an unyielding blockade stationed before the Northland Family Planning Center in Sterling Heights as part of the "Michigan Holiness Revival Tour," which included similar postings outside abortion clinics over a two-week span, according to pro-abortion feminist Ms. Magazine. Calvin Zastrow wrote on Facebook that the "peaceful interposition" in August 2020 led to three "saves" and multiple turn-aways. 10 pro-lifers were booked into Sterling Heights Jail for trespassing. (Boyd was there filming the rescue.)

61-year-old evangelist Calvin Zastrow was arrested in October 2017 for reading the Bible and preaching on a public sidewalk across the street from the Capital Care abortion clinic in Ohio, Christian Post reported. After refusing to stop preaching, Zastrow was charged with menacing, obstructing official business, and disorderly conduct.

In a lawsuit filed by the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) on behalf of Zastrow against the city of Toledo and its police force, the missionary's legal counsel accused city leadership of violating their client's free speech and religious freedom rights. "Zastrow refused to stop preaching the Word of God, so the officers arrested him, placed him in handcuffs, and transported him to the Lucas County Correction Center," the suit alleges, mentioning that the defendant was told that "he must stop his expressive religious activity." Zastrow asked an officer, "What are the consequences if I keep walking on this sidewalk reading the Bible?" The cop responded, "You're gonna go to jail," according to the lawsuit.


The following year, the presiding federal judge signed a consent judgment and order, permanently enjoining the city from enforcing its laws "as applied to the non-obstructive" demonstration, including First Amendment-protected expressions such as "unamplified" prayer and worship of pro-lifers protesting on the public fora adjacent to abortion clinics. "Victory!" hailed the AFLC. Holding pro-life signs, distributing literature, and engaging passersby with pro-life messages were also protected activities. Such signage that Zastrow carried with him: an "Adoption is a Loving Solution" sign, which helped to convince at least one mother seeking an abortion to "give life to her baby" and "bless a family through adoption."

It was not the first time the AFLC represented Zastrow when he encountered legal trouble over his pro-life activism. Zastrow was demonstrating with pro-life activists in June 2017 on a public sidewalk outside the Northland Family Planning Center's abortion clinic in Westland, Michigan, when he was arrested for "disturbing the peace." AFLC filed a motion to dismiss the charge on constitutional grounds. Later in September of that year, all criminal charges against Zastrow were dismissed with prejudice, and the AFLC declared the dismissal of charges a "victory for pro-life speech."

He scored another win in October 2012 when Montana's restrictions on clergy political speech were ruled unconstitutional after Zastrow sued a county for violating his First Amendment rights. A 1913 state law prohibiting ministers and preachers from political speech was used to arrest Zastrow, an Assemblies of God minister. A Montana judge issued a permanent injunction against enforcing the "clergy censorship" policy, Christianity Today reported.

The complaint said that Zastrow was arrested for collecting petition signatures in Yellowstone County's MetraPark, where he was urging voters to acknowledge that they had "a religious duty" to support pro-life initiatives and candidates. The ballot initiative Zastrow was pushing had sought to amend the state's constitution to define unborn children as persons.

The pro-life street preacher publicly advocates for group prayer and peaceful sit-in protests. Zastrow explained on camera at the site of what once was the busiest abortion clinic in Sarasota, Florida, that pro-life rescuers sitting in front of abortion clinics are praying for God's intervention and "interposing through" peaceful means. "Not through violence, through peace," Zastrow underscored while donning a "Jesus is Lord" t-shirt, which he ordered for the Holiness Revival Evangelism Missions Tour. "But through God bringing the high places down. So let's show up in front of these high places, trust Him, rescue, preach, sing, pray, and see this happen to the rest of them," Zastrow gestured to the rubble.

This is apparently the face of "far-right extremism": (Get these hardened criminals off our streets!)

The street preacher's daughter Eva Zastrow, who is indicted, and Calvin's son James Zastrow, have also described these peaceful pro-life rescues in detail. (Eva Zastrow was named in honor of Eva Edl and her pro-life work.)

"I love you and I'm here because I care about you and your baby," Zastrow recalled telling a mother seeking an abortion, according to an old YouTube video from 2017 introducing "Eva the Rescuer." Zastrow recounted how it felt to interpose for the first time and "do all I could to treat that baby like it was a person and treat that mom like she was of value."

Zastrow, a musician who leads praise to Jesus with her guitar, is one part of the "daddy-daughter rescue squad." During the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, the younger Zastrow was ministering in a large refugee camp in Greece where refugees fled to. "In such darkness, there shines Missionary Eva," Calvin Zastrow wrote of his youngest daughter.

"Daddy, I want my life to count. I want to make my time count. I want to spend my days serving needy people and pointing them to Jesus..." Eva Zastrow said to her father over the phone. "Pray that I'll be a good soldier for Jesus."

Green, the director of the evangelistic Life and Liberty Ministries and a father to 13 children, is a 56-year-old stage 4, small B-cell lymphoma survivor who underwent chemotherapy, thanks in part to a LifeFunder fundraiser that raised over a whopping $39,000 to help pay for months of his cancer treatment. Over the summer, Green announced in July on Facebook that his oncologist had confirmed that there are currently no signs of cancer in his body at this time.


Like Idoni's profession, Green owns Remnant Books, a bookstore that sells new and used Christian books. All profits from selling Green's books support Gospel outreaches in the U.S. and China's northwestern provinces.

In May 2017, Green was also arrested for blocking the entrance to EMW Women's Surgical Clinic in Louisville while protesting among the 100 pro-life activists that appeared outside the only remaining licensed clinic performing abortions in Kentucky. According to Louisville-based outlet WDRB, the pro-life rescuers taken to jail for criminal trespassing had locked arms to demonstrate peaceful "interposition," which is when one "stands in the gap between the oppressor and the intended victim...risking arrest for one reason: to rescue the pre-born that are led away to slaughter."

Green, Edl, James Zastrow, and Eva Zastrow also faced many DOJ accusations over alleged FACE violations concerning the Louisville rescue. The motion requested an order to create "a buffer zone" in front of the clinic and asked that U.S. marshals and law enforcement officials be authorized to arrest anyone who violates the order. A federal judge granted the order for the 7.5-foot by 15-foot zone against the Operation Save America participants.

"It felt wonderful to be able to sit in front of the doors and to interpose and say, 'We're here, we love you, we love your baby'...The Lord filled me with His peace and I knew I was obeying His will," Eva Zastrow told Courier Journal. "I chose to sit in front of the doors. I'm not going to balk from the consequences. I'm not going to complain or regret it."

Green posts numerous videos on his active YouTube channel of himself frequenting abortion clinics across his home state and preaching from various Psalms to "take the Gospel to the killing centers in central Virginia."

Dr. Boyd, an Operation Save America leader, ER physician, and church elder, blasted recordings of children's voices for women to hear arriving at their abortion appointments during the "40 Days for Life" campaign, which calls on pro-life activists to gather around clinics nationwide throughout the Christian holy season of Lent. "Jesus loves you, Mommy. Mommy, please don't kill me," a child's voice would plead from Boyd's large speaker system, the Jackson Free Press reported. "What did I do wrong, Mommy? Mommy, Jesus loves you. I love you, Mommy...Mommy, I have a heartbeat."

The fanny pack-wearing Boyd also reads scripture into a microphone connected to a sound system and was often seen praying aloud outside one of the most notorious abortion clinics in America from beyond its masked iron fencing.

A judge in Tennessee issued a temporary restraining order against members of Operation Save America, including the emergency room doctor and Gallagher, in July amid days of demonstration outside the Mt. Juliet carafem clinic.

Boyd was arrested and charged with simple assault in December 2018 outside of Jackson Women's Health Organization, also known as the infamous Pink House, Mississippi's last abortion clinic before it closed in June following the landmark Dobbs ruling. Boyd's niece and nephew were also charged with simple assault.

"The charge of simple assault does not require any physical contact and we know of none," a press release by Pastors for Life Mississippi says. Several attorney sites explain that under state law, the offense "does not always involve physical contact" and that you "can be charged with simple assault even if you did not make physical contact with the accuser." Mississippi Code § 97-3-7 stipulates that simple assault can consist of threat to bodily harm without an attack occurring.

Boyd's family regularly showed up at the abortion clinic for years, convincing abortion-bound women not to kill their unborn babies. No information was initially given as to who filed the assault charge or why, per the Pastors for Life MS letter, noting that its members were left to speculate. Jackson Police Department officers informed Pastors for Life director Doug Lane that abortionist Sacheen Carr-Ellis had "felt" intimidated by a conversation she had on the sidewalk in front of the abortion clinic with the younger Boyds. Lane wrote that the JPD intended to break up this "Boyd family thing.”


"It is obvious to us that this 'attack' on Dr. Boyd is meant to scare off Christians who would dare to 'speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves' at the abortion clinic, and not only that, but to smear Dr. Boyd's reputation and to destroy his career," Lane, a pastor, typed in the organization's memo defending the Bible-carrying Boyd.

Davis was arrested with Idoni in May 2020 during a Red Rose Rescue organized by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society outside of the abortion clinic Heritage Women's Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, according to LifeSiteNews.

Pro-life activists were holding signs showing support for the women entering the abortion clinic, handing out red roses with encouraging words and phone numbers of local pregnancy help centers and distributing educational pamphlets containing information about prominent abortionist Dr. Thomas Gordon's civil and health code violations.

"You were made to love and to be loved...your goodness is greater than the difficulties of your situation. Circumstances in life change. A new life, however tiny, brings the promise of unrepeatable joy," read the note of encouragement attached to the flowers, a symbol of life, that were given to the pregnant women as cars pulled into the abortion clinic's parking lot.  

Gordon, who performs abortions inside the facility, reportedly confronted the pro-life advocates offering assistance to the pregnant women and threatened to kill elderly pro-life activist Ann Norton: "'If you don't get off my property'—and then he put his hands in the shape of a gun—'then I'm going to shoot you!'" Norton recalled, LifeSiteNews reported. An egg was also allegedly thrown from a passing vehicle at the pro-life protestors standing on the sidewalk, per LifeSiteNews.

A jury returned a verdict of not guilty for each defendant in the criminal trespass trial of the pro-lifers who entered the abortion center "to counsel women in an effort to save them and their unborn babies from the harm caused by abortion."

"They went to this place of killing not with an intent to do harm, but with an intent to do charity.  They did not possess weapons," an AFLC press release from September 2021 says, announcing Idoni's acquittal. "Rather, they were armed with red roses and a message of love. They were there to provide information, counseling, and financial assistance..."

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