Advertisement

Anti-abortionist gets 2 years over D.C. clinic blockade

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday announced anti-abortionist Heather Idoni has been sentenced to two years in prison for participating in a blockade of a Washington, D.C. area clinic. She is to be sentenced next in July over similar charges involving a clinic in Tennessee. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Federal prosecutors on Wednesday announced anti-abortionist Heather Idoni has been sentenced to two years in prison for participating in a blockade of a Washington, D.C. area clinic. She is to be sentenced next in July over similar charges involving a clinic in Tennessee. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

May 23 (UPI) -- An anti-abortion activist has been sentenced to two years behind bars for her involvement with a blockade of a Washington, D.C., area reproductive health clinic in October 2022.

Heather Idoni, a Michigan grandmother, was sentenced Wednesday, making her the eighth person to receive jail time for participating in the blockade, with a ninth participate to be sentenced later this month.

Advertisement

The nine people were charged with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act over the Oct. 22, 2020, blockade of the unidentified reproductive health clinic, an act that anti-abortionists call a "rescue."

According to the prosecutors, they had conspired and organized the blockade days before hand, with Idoni being among those who traveled across states to D.C. to participate in it.

The complaint states Lauren Handy, director of the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, made an appointment for reproductive services at the clinic for Oct. 22, and when the clinic opened for services that morning, Handy, Idoni and others "forcefully pushed through the clinic door" into its waiting room.

Handy directed the operation, instructing some of the conspirators to block the way to the clinic's treatment area, while Idoni and another conspirator went to block the employee entrance to the facility.

Advertisement

One of the conspirators, identified as Jonathan Darnel, live-streamed the blockade on Facebook.

"The rescuers are doing their job," Darnel said in the broadcast, according to the complaint. "They're not allowing women to enter the abortion clinic. As long as they're in there, no women can go in to kill their children."

They were indicted in March of 2022.

Most of those involved have been tied to other anti-abortion activities, and Idoni is to be sentenced July 30 after she and several others were convicted in January for participating in a blockade of a Mount Juliet, Tenn., reproductive health clinic in March of 2021.

Idoni was also charged in February 2023 with blocking Michigan reproductive health clinics in 2020 and 2021.

She was sentenced a week after the majority of her conspirators in the Washington, D.C., blockade were sentenced, with Handy receiving the lengthiest sentenced at 57 months.

Latest Headlines