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Christian pro-life protester sentenced to 6 months in prison: 'Worthy is the Lamb!'

'Let’s stop pretending that everything is OK'

Pro-life activist Calvin Zastrow reading from a Bible and preaching across the street from an abortion clinic in Toledo, Ohio, on Oct. 3, 2017.
Pro-life activist Calvin Zastrow reading from a Bible and preaching across the street from an abortion clinic in Toledo, Ohio, on Oct. 3, 2017. | (Photo: AFLC)

A pro-life protester was sentenced to six months in federal prison in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday after being convicted earlier this year for violating a federal law against blocking access to abortion clinics.

Calvin Zastrow was also sentenced by U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger to three years of supervised release and will be expected to self-report to prison by Oct. 1, according to The Daily Wire. He received no fine.

In October 2022, Zastrow was one of originally 11 people indicted for blocking the entrance to the Carafem Health Center Clinic in the Nashville suburb of Mt. Juliet on March 15, 2021. The group gathered together at the entrance, sang hymns, and urged women not to go through with their abortions.

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Seven of the 11 defendants faced conspiracy charges under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, and the other defendants were charged with misdemeanors that carried a punishment of up to one year in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The protesters were found guilty by a federal jury in January.

Upon his sentencing at the federal courthouse, Zastrow reportedly maintained during remarks that his Christian faith prompted him to participate in the pro-life protest because "children are a blessing from God," and said he has endeavored to live his life "under the Lordship of Jesus Christ."

According to Operation Rescue, Zastrow quoted the book of Revelation after his sentencing in the courtroom by shouting, "Worthy is the Lamb!'"

Trauger, a Clinton appointee, was reportedly dismissive of Zastrow's remarks and told him she didn't need to hear a sermon. She also reportedly told him that his "religious fervor" had caused pain to others.

Coleman Boyd and Dennis Green, two other protesters at the Carafem demonstration, were also sentenced Wednesday. Both received six months of house arrest and three years' probation.

Zastrow has been involved with pro-life protests at abortion clinics for years, and in 2019 he filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio against the city of Toledo, its police chief and two officers after he was stopped from holding demonstrations outside an abortion clinic there.

A U.S. district court judge ruled in his favor at the time, arguing that Zastrow and his daughter have the legal right to peacefully protest outside abortion clinics.

During a 2023 interview with The Epoch Times, during which he was asked why he continues to protest at abortion clinics, Zastrow said, "Because they’re still killing people. Let’s stop pretending that everything is OK. I pray for more people to love Jesus enough, to love their pre-born neighbors as themselves."

Paul Vaughn, a devout Christian father of 11, avoided prison time during his sentencing on Tuesday under Judge Trauger, though she slapped him with three years of supervised release.

Despite claiming that Vaughn and the others were "imposing their religious beliefs on other people" with their protest, Trauger acknowledged that their demonstration was non-violent.

The judge also conceded that his actions were an expression of his religion and considered the fact that he is a U.S. Navy veteran who has earned the respect of those in his community.

Vaughn said he plans to appeal the judge's verdict, but glorified God for his sentence and presented it as a battle in a wider spiritual war engulfing the nation.

More than 100 supporters showed up outside the federal court during the protesters' sentencing this week, singing hymns and praying, according to The Daily Wire.

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to jon.brown@christianpost.com

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