Judge Dismisses ‘Bible’ Defense Of Pro-Lifer

An pro-life activist was found guilty of obstruction on Monday by a Republican judge, after he tried to cite Bible passages and his own “deeply held” Christian beliefs for why he should be allowed to do what he did.

Federal Judge Joseph Anderson — who was appointed under President Ronald Reagan — handed down the verdict earlier this week to Steven Lefemine, who is 68 years old, in South Carolina’s capital city of Columbia.

The case was a non-jury trial in which Lefemine was convicted of violating the 1993 Freedom of Access of Clinic Entrances Act. Multiple times in 2022, he blocked the entrance to a clinic for Planned Parenthood so that people couldn’t get inside in protest of his pro-life beliefs.

He was arrested on November 15 of that year, which is a day where he said he blocked the clinic’s entrance deliberately so people wouldn’t be able to get abortions. In a video, he told police officers that he’d only stop doing that if “they agree not to kill babies today.”

His arraignment was held in February of 2023, at which time he was charged with physically obstructing and interfering with people who were trying to get access to the clinic.

Lefemine defended himself at trial, according to local media outlet The State. During the trial, he cited multiple texts including “the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and passages from Exodus, Psalms and the books of Matthew and Acts.”

He also tried to argue that he wasn’t posing a threat on the day he was arrested, backing up his claims by saying he informed police in Columbia that day what his intentions were and that he was peaceful when he was arrested.

Evidence that was presented at trial clearly showed that Lefemine was blocking the Planned Parenthood entrance, which was a clear violation of the law in question. He was found guilty during his trial, and his sentencing will be held sometime over the next two months.

The judge can sentence Lefemine to as many as six months behind bars for those charges.

After the trial was over, Lefemine told The State:

“As Christians, we are not necessarily called to win all the time. We are called to be a witness.”

In remarks of his own, the judge said that he respected the “deeply held beliefs” that Lefemine has, as well as his engagement in civil disobedience. Anderson characterized those actions as “an age-old tradition in this country that sometimes has resulted in changes in the law.”

That being said, the judge didn’t have much of a choice but to rule against Lefemine, as the evidence presented at the trial was too much for the defendant to overcome.

This case is sort of monumental in the fact that it’s the first one that has resulted in a conviction under the Freedom of Access of Clinic Entrances Act. There was one previous case that was tried under the law, but it resulted in a verdict of not guilty.