(October 11, 2022 – Centerville, Tennessee) In an eerily familiar video, the wife of 55-year-old Paul Vaughn captured armed FBI agents, guns drawn, swarming the property of the family’s Centerville, Tennessee farmhouse, frightening her children and dragging her husband away. Thomas More Society attorneys are defending Vaughn against alleged violations of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, commonly known as the FACE Act. The Biden Department of Justice claims that Vaughn, the President of Tennessee Personhood, is guilty of “conspiracy against rights secured by the FACE Act” as well as of violating the FACE Act itself, even though he never obstructed anyone. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Tennessee indicted Vaughn and six others for conspiracy, and additionally four other individuals for committing FACE Act violations. The prosecution of these eleven life advocates results from an incident that occurred over a year and a half ago, in March 2021, which consisted in nothing more than a peaceful pro-life witness at an abortion facility in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.
The heavy-handed Department of Justice’s FBI raid comes less than two weeks after a similar strike force stormed the house of Mark Houck. On September 23, Houck was dragged away from the family’s Pennsylvania home by armed agents with guns drawn on his wife and seven young children. Houck was also indicted for alleged violations of the FACE Act after a confrontation with an abortion supporter who repeatedly harassed Houck’s 12-year-old son. Houck is also being represented by Thomas More Society attorneys.
The Mount Juliet incident for which Vaughn was seized consisted of several pro-life advocates sitting in a hallway outside of the abortion clinic singing Christian hymns, reading scripture, and praying. During the occasion, Vaughn, who was never arrested by the local police, was recording the protest, and serving as a liaison between life advocates and the police to ensure the safety of all involved. No one was hurt and no property was damaged during the pro-life witness. For Vaughn’s peaceful presence at the event, the Biden Department of Justice has levied at him charges that carry sentences of up to 11 years in prison and fines of up to $260,000.
“Paul Vaughn’s arrest in front of his wife and seven of his children, including the 18-month child she was holding, followed by his indictment on federal charges, is yet another attempt on the part of the Biden Department of Justice to frighten and intimidate Christians and committed life advocates,” explained Thomas More Society Senior Counsel Stephen Crampton. “We believe the evidence will show that Paul did not violate the FACE Act, and we look forward to a chance to prove that in court.”
“Ironically,” Crampton added, “the FACE Act was established to federalize and criminalize any interference with a person’s attempts to obtain an abortion. Abortion is no longer legal in Tennessee, and the peaceful pro-life witness at the Mount Juliet abortion facility resulted in no injury, destruction, or damage, yet 11 life advocates are facing Draconian penalties and federal prosecution.”
“Contrast that with the June 2022 firebombing of a pregnancy resource center in Buffalo, New York,” Crampton continued. “More than four months later, there have been no arrests, no serious investigation, and not even any suggestion by law enforcement officials that this was a violent arson attack motivated by abortion supporters, despite damning evidence that clearly points in that direction.”
Read more about the Thomas More Society defense of pro-life advocates here.