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NEW YORK (ChurchMilitant.com) - One of the most respected pro-life groups in the country is pushing back against the legal attack of New York's leftist attorney general.
Radical Democrat Letitia James hit Red Rose Rescue with a lawsuit last week, attempting to prevent the pro-life group from being within 30 feet of any abortuary in her state. In a press release, James said, "Red Rose Rescue has made it their mission to terrorize reproductive health care providers and the patients they serve."
In her attempt to wield the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, James said she filed the injunction against members of Red Rose Rescue, which she called "an anti-abortion extremist group," for "invading reproductive health care clinics, threatening staff and clinicians, and terrorizing patients."
In her own press release, RRR cofounder Dr. Monica Miller slammed James' hyperbolic rhetoric. "The abortion [James] supports is the real terrorism — terrorism carved into the crushed bodies of the unborn," the decades-long pro-life champion said.
"RRR is a compassionate, totally peaceful attempt to help moms and defend the unborn scheduled for abortion," Miller continued. "We can hardly be characterized as "terrorists" when indeed the court transcripts of our many trials will show that police officers and even abortion center staff have testified under oath that Red Rose Rescuers are peaceful!"
Miller recommended that James read the group's mission statement and rules of conduct, posted at the Red Rose Rescue website, "before she spouts off her pro-abortion mischaracterization of those who want to help women and save innocent human beings from violent extermination!"
The first two of the 15 points listed under the RRR code of conduct read:
RRR has been acting on behalf of unborn babies and their mothers since 2017 in and around abortuaries throughout the United States. Since then, many rescuers, including Miller herself, have been arrested and jailed for their lifesaving work.
The website explains what often happens during a rescue:
[A] team of pro-lifers enter the actual places where the innocent unborn are about to be "dragged to death." In the words of St. Mother Teresa, they enter the "dark holes of the poor." Red Rose Rescuers peacefully talk to women scheduled for abortion with the goal of persuading them to choose life. They offer them red roses as a sign of life, peace and love.
Should the women not be persuaded to spare their children, the website continues, the "rescuers stay in the place of execution in solidarity with their abandoned brothers and sisters, performing a nonviolent act of defense through their continued presence inside the killing centers, remaining with them for as long as they can."
The majority of RRR pro-lifers remain outside abortion mills, quietly praying or counseling mothers on the sidewalks outside the "murder sites," as Miller calls them.
Miller, who herself often participates in the rescues, accused the attorney general of politicizing the issue. "This is nothing more than political grandstanding to prove just how committed the state of New York is to the killing of unborn children. It's pro-abortion political theater, and their script is a script of lies and distortions as to the goals of RRR," she said.
"Since James is committed to the legalized killing of the innocent, she is using Red Rose Rescue as an excuse to squash pro-life speech and activity with which she personally disagrees!" the prominent pro-lifer added.
In addition to being a public pro-abortion voice for years, James has also disclosed her personal choice to kill her unborn baby through abortion two decades ago, just as her political career was taking off. She said she makes "no apologies" for the deed.
American Freedom Law Center attorney Robert Muise, who has represented RRR in many of the cases cited in the attorney general's lawsuit, underscores Miller's perspective. He tells Church Militant, "The New York attorney general is weaponizing her office to attack and vilify peaceful pro-lifers to discourage them from engaging in activity that is constitutionally protected."
Muise flattened James' argument by saying:
The vast majority of pro-lifers who associate with the Red Rose Rescue never enter an abortion center. Rather, they remain outside on the public sidewalks, praying and counseling women. And the few who do enter the abortion centers make it a point to never violate FACE (the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act), which makes it a federal crime to use force, the threat of force, or physical obstruction to prevent individuals from obtaining or providing an abortion.
Muise accuses James of "conflating the rare conduct of some — conduct which allegedly violates FACE — with the conduct of Red Rose Rescuers, which never violates FACE."
Miller told Church Militant that James' lawsuit "is doomed to fail." She confirmed, along with Muise, that the FACE statute does not apply to her group. "RRR does not block 'access' to abortion; RRR deliberately avoids physically impeding 'ingress and egress.' The New York FACE statute simply does not apply to RRR."
Muise questioned James' motives for the suit. "The New York Attorney General is either incompetent in that she does not know the facts or she is malicious in that she doesn't care about the facts and just wants to intimidate all pro-lifers," he said. "My bet is on the latter. I know the pro-lifers will be fighting back against this abuse of the judicial process."