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Judge says elderly pro-life activist should 'make every effort to stay alive' in prison

As the Justice Department continued to face scrutiny over its alleged anti-Christian bias, a judge reportedly brought up an elderly pro-life activist's religion in his ruling by suggesting that “do everything possible to stay alive…”.

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress as he defended himself against claims of targeted investigations in a corporate op-ed. A review of court transcripts by Fox News Digital on Friday raised new eyebrows over the sentencing of Paulette “Paula” Harlow, 75, after concerns for her well-being prompted Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to explain the faith

After a conviction in November 2023 for an October 22, 2020 violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entries (FACE) Act, when she and a host of co-defendants had protested in front of the entrance to the Surgi Clinic in Washington, DC. where murders of unborn babies were carried out, Harlow learned on May 31 that she was being sentenced to two years in federal prison and 36 months of supervised release.

In delivering the sentence, Kollar-Kotelly was reported as saying: “I would suggest that, as far as your religion is concerned, one of the principles is that you should make the effort during this period of time, when it may be difficult for your husband, to make every effort to support live, do the things you have to do to survive, because that's part of the principles of your religion.”

According to Fox News Digital, that sentiment came after the defendant's husband and primary caregiver, John Harlow, pleaded for mercy for his sick wife: “I feel like Paulette is dying. In my heart, I think it's hard for him to stay alive.”

A similar sentiment had come from defense attorney Allen Orenberg who had gone on record arguing, “She cannot continue to exist without support, especially from her husband.”

Orenberg had explained that his client's husband had told him before the sentencing: “Well, if Paulette goes to prison, I want to go with her. I want to be there for her. She will need me. She can't go on living without me.”

Meanwhile, while Harlow remained under house arrest while efforts were underway to select a federal facility capable of providing the necessary medical care, Garland's op-ed in the Washington Post only served to reinforce impressions of 'a two-tier justice system.

“The Department of Justice makes decisions about criminal investigations based only on the facts and the law. We don't investigate people because of their last name, their political affiliation, the size of their bank account, where they're from, or what they look like. We investigate and prosecute violations of federal law, nothing less,” he wrote. This claim was easy refuted by the disproportionate number of cases where faithful pro-lifers face raids, indictments, arrests and prison sentences compared to the number of unprosecuted radicals desecrating churches and crisis pregnancy centers.

This included Harlow's co-defendant Lauren Handy, 30, who received a 57-month sentence for her involvement in the same protest.

Speaking to Fox News Digital, Harlow offered her own reaction to Kollar-Kotelly's statement that ruled out any ill intent: “It was just her expression. She's just trying to stay alive.” That's a start, too. of your faith,” which, yes, is a principle of my faith. But also, saving children is a principle of my faith. I don't think it was anything I would say, but I, at the time, was reflecting and I'm still pondering [the sentence].”


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Judge says elderly pro-life activist should 'make every effort to stay alive' in prison
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