WASHINGTON, DC (WRIC) — Ten people have now been indicted on federal charges after prosecutors say they chained themselves to the doors of an abortion clinic in DC. The alleged leader of the conspiracy is a woman police say had five fetuses in her home when it was raided.
An amended indictment added a tenth alleged conspirator to the case this week. Herb Geraghty, the executive director of a Pennsylvania-based anti-abortion group, said on Twitter that he was facing federal charges over his “nonviolent pro-life advocacy.”
The superseding indictment filed on Oct. 14 alleges that Geraghty was one of ten people who, at the behest of Lauren Handy, entered an abortion clinic in D.C. on October 22, 2020, and barricaded the doors, preventing patients from entering.
Handy has entered a not guilty plea, but the remaining nine accused conspirators have not yet filed theirs. Handy has also been convicted of trespassing in relation to an incident at another clinic in Northern Virginia.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone to interfere with “the right to obtain and seek to obtain, and to provide and seek to provide, reproductive health services.”
According to prosecutors, one of the conspirators live-streamed the group’s activities on Facebook. They say that Jonathan Darnel, the man who ran the stream, can be heard saying “we have people intervening physically with their bodies to prevent women from entering the clinic to murder their children” as the video starts.
Prosecutors say that the ten “forcefully pushed through the Clinic door into the Clinic’s waiting room,” injuring a nurse in the process.
That, along with texts prosecutors allege Handy and Darnel sent to the other accused arranging lodging and travel in the run-up to the protest, form the basis of the government’s case. If convicted on the two counts facing them, each defendant could face up to 11 years in prison.