WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (ChurchMIlitant.com) – A Michigan judge has ruled that pro-life rescuers don't have to pay an abortionist for his lost revenue — despite over half of his patients not showing up for their abortions on the day of a pro-life rally.
Currently serving 45 days in Oakland County Jail, Dr. Monica Miller and William Goodman joined Patrice Woodworth, Matthew Connolly and Robert Kolavy in Judge Marc Barron's courtroom in West Bloomfield Friday to find out if they would be responsible to pay restitution to abortionist Jacob Kalo.
City Attorney Larry Sherman was pressing for $7,490 in restitution from the Red Rose Rescuers under the Crime Victim's Rights Act. Miller, Goodman, Connolly, Kolavy and Woodworth were found guilty of criminal trespass for conducting a Red Rose Rescue inside the Western Women's Center in West Bloomfield last year.
Connelly, a full-time pro-life missionary, was both unable and unwilling to pay the fines and court costs assessed during the trial in March and was taken into custody to serve 45 days in Oakland County Jail.
Robert Muise, senior counsel for American Freedom Law Center, representing the rescuers, told Church Militant, "The prosecutor, in my view, had no business trying to seek restitution in this case ... because it wasn't permitted under the statutes."
He said Sherman was "overreaching" and "has been a strong advocate of the abortion industry throughout these proceedings."
"He's representing the position of the people and he should not have a special interest in promoting the agenda of the victim," Muise said. "Throughout these proceedings, it's been my view that his actions have demonstrated that all he wants to do is seek a conviction and punishment."
"His goal should not be to seek a conviction, his goal is to seek justice," Muise emphasized.
Sherman called witness Pam DeMaggio, personal secretary to Kalo, who testified that she personally confirmed each of the 23 patients scheduled to arrive at the abortion mill between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
In an attempt to prove the abortionist's losses, DeMaggio provided a list of each of the 23 patients, the procedure they were scheduled to undergo and the cost. A surgical abortion (what she called a "voluntary termination of pregnancy") costs around $500 for a woman less than 12 weeks pregnant. The abortion pill also costs around $500.
In total, she listed 11 babies who did not die at the abortionist's hand. Five women didn't come in for the abortion pill, four for the surgical abortion and two scheduled for pregnancy tests and "counseling" because they were undecided — at a cost of $245 each.
One appointment was for a follow-up to an abortion, and two other appointments were for dilation and curettage — a high-risk procedure used after an abortion or miscarriage if some of the baby's remains are left inside the mother.
Muise said, "12 women were turned away from making one of the worst decisions of their lives."
DeMaggio confirmed that Kalo aborted nine babies that day. She also testified that usually 95 percent of confirmed patients show up and she is usually able to contact them later to reschedule. She said none of the women would return her calls. Sherman calculated the lost revenue for Kalo amounted to $5,440.
Sherman then called Kalo's attorney to account for legal fees he incurred. Ryan Fishman, a real estate attorney with the Fishman Group, testified that Kalo has been a client of his father's for many years.
"Our client has a fairly large real estate portfolio," he noted.
Fishman testified that he worked for around 10 hours prepping witnesses for the case and protecting his client's interests by ensuring the probation included a no-contact clause. Kalo was given a reduced rate of $200 per hour and his billable time totaled $2,070.
Sherman pressed Barron for joint responsibility because the missionary nature of the pro-life advocates does not provide a steady income and joint responsibility would force those with homes and family to shoulder the burden.
Muise argued that the losses were all speculative because there was also a legal protest outside. He said the Crime Victim's Rights Act allows for restitution for property damage, theft or bodily or psychological injury, and there was clearly no evidence of any of that.
During a break, while Barron was writing his opinion, Miller told Church Militant that "not one red cent" should be paid to the abortionist. Goodman said he hoped Sherman and Barron could "hear the cries of the unborn and dedicate their lives to make restitution for their deaths."
When finally issuing his decision, Judge Barron agreed with Muise that the abortionist's lost revenue and costs could not be attributed directly to the Red Rose Rescuers because there was also a legal protest in the public space in front. He also agreed that there was no basis for restitution, explaining that his court was not a substitute for civil damages.
Muise told Church Militant the ruling was a "home run."
He explained, "Not one of the Red Rose Rescuers are going to have to pay a penny of restitution to the abortionist for his abortion mill, and secondly, the testimony that the prosecutor presented demonstrates, without any doubt, that their actions were efficacious."
"Those 12 turned away and never came back and never had any further contact with this particular abortion mill," he said.