The Nashville 11 have been called by many different names: terrorists, criminals, pro-life, Christian nationalists. I call them modern-day heroes, who loved God so much that their love poured over to others, regardless of the cost.

On March 5, 2021, a group gathered at an abortion clinic in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., to pray, sing hymns and speak to the women seeking the clinic’s services. They communicated well with the police and other authorities, and were respectfully compliant – no brick throwing, flame throwing, arson or tear gassing. Just a peaceful, Christian gathering seeking to inform women on the dangers of abortion, while reminding them that the children they were carrying were alive.

These 11 people were charged with Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act violations, while several of them were also charged with “conspiracy against civil rights.” Ironically this indictment was unsealed four months after abortion was no longer considered a federal civil right after Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, 2022.

The trial finished Jan. 30, 2024, and six of the defendants were formally sentenced July 2.

Their crime? Preventing murder. Loving others too much. Fulfilling biblical commands too well.

The consequence? Prison. Trials. Long, drawn-out lawsuits, interrupted plans, trumped-up charges, living with uncertainty, early morning FBI raids.

The verdict? Guilty on all counts – with several of them still awaiting sentencing.

Who are these people? Chester Gallagher, Paul Vaughn and Paul Place of Tennessee. Heather Idoni, Caroline Davis, Calvin Zastrow and Eva Zastrow of Michigan. Coleman Boyd of Mississippi. Dennis Green of Virginia. Eva Edl of South Carolina. James Zastrow of Missouri.

To most of the world, these are just obscure names. But they’re real people, with real stories, facing real consequences. And we seldom hear anything about these people who are fighting a legal battle of epic proportions.

If we don’t stand up and speak out now, who will? And a more pressing question: If it can happen to them, why not to us?

I rejoiced two years ago when Roe v. Wade was overturned and handed back to the states. I am overjoyed to be in the generation that saw it happen. But have we really secured a victory when people are prosecuted at a federal level for something that’s been given to the states? Shouldn’t the state decide in this case?

And it did decide, most emphatically. Some of the people at the clinic that day were arrested with charges of trespassing. Not FACE act violations, not “conspiracy against civil rights” charges, but trespassing. A local court dealt with the charges, and those involved returned to their lives.

Eighteen months later, the FBI raided two of their homes, while others were contacted or served papers.

But the Nashville 11 counted the cost. They found the price well worth the sacrifice of their freedom, their privacy, their safety, and their peace of mind.

It behooves us to take a lesson from these heroes. A true hero denies the self-preservation instinct, laying down his life, willing to suffer for what he believes. Heroes aren’t made in a moment; heroes are made because they are moved – moved by the force of their beliefs, their convictions, and their God. And these existential, seemingly trivial details will cause them to rise as heroes or fall as base cowards. They will either stand before a tribunal and parrot the current politically correct talking points, or boldly proclaim: “Here I stand, I can do no other.”

When Benjamin Franklin was asked what form of government had been created when America was founded, he replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

If you can keep it. Have we kept that sacred trust?

The men and women who fought to create our republic knew what it was to suffer, to sacrifice and to count the cost of their beliefs, convictions and actions.

Do we live with such an ardent zeal in our convictions? Are our beliefs worth dying for if need be?

There have been many great crimes in the 20th and 21st centuries. I firmly believe that the greatest crime took place in the Holocaust of the 1940s … but not by the perpetrators of it. The basest criminals of the ’40s were those who knew what was going on and did nothing about it, the “good people,” who just sought peace and safety for themselves and their families, reciting the reasons why they themselves were immune from blame.

But no one is ever immune from the hand of the tyrant. Not then, not now.

We know what is going on in our country. We know about the illegal raids and the murdered babies. We know about the grooming and subsequent mutilations of children in our schools and libraries and hospitals. We know about the many people, termed “J6ers,” who have been held in prison for years without being charged. We know about the Nashville 11 who have been tried and found guilty.

We know. We cannot forget. It behooves us to examine ourselves, our convictions and our beliefs, boldly taking a stand, willingly laying down “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” in the pursuit of “liberty and justice for all.”  

To learn the stories of the Nashville 11, the men and women involved in the USA v. Gallagher case, you can visit

Kaitlyn Smith is a homeschool graduate, intent on pursuing every opportunity the good Lord puts before her. She’s blessed to live a simple life with her family of 11 on their small southern homestead, living for the glory of God alone and finding beauty and joy in the mundane, simple tasks of life. 

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.