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For the last 50 years, faithful Catholics have been protesting at abortion clinics. One of the more controversial tactics is the Red Rose Rescue, a strategy driven by the urgency to save unborn children from brutal dismemberment.
In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb examines the legal charges against six Red Rose Rescuers.
On Saturday, April 23, 2022, six pro-life activists entered Northland Family Planning, an abortion business located in the city of Southfield, Michigan.
The activists hoped to persuade women in the waiting room not to kill their babies.
They were there to defend unborn children facing imminent death.
Now they are on trial facing three criminal misdemeanor charges: trespassing, resisting and obstructing a police officer, and interference with the conduct of a business.
The six defendants — Matthew Connolly, Laura Gies, Jacob Gregor, Monica Miller, Fr. Fidelis Moscinski and Elizabeth Wagi — entered the building where the abortion business is located and took the elevator to the second floor.
Three of them entered the business lobby where they presented waiting mothers with a red rose and urged them to reconsider having an abortion.
When security guards for the abortuary asked the rescuers to leave, they refused.
Their consciences, knowing babies' lives were at stake, would not allow them to comply.
The pro-life activists were there to defend others from violence — a moral action that supersedes laws against trespassing and obstructing a business.
Monica Miller, director, Citizens for a Pro-Life Society:
To be in court for a rescue is very, very frustrating when we don't have the defense of others or a defense of necessity, and why? Because our legal system doesn't recognize the unborn as "others." It's as if they don't exist. This is an abortion center that kills unborn children through the sixth month of pregnancy. Somehow, we want that truth to come out.
Defense of others is a long shot remedy for these defendants, but Judge Cynthia Arvant hasn't totally ruled it out.
On that Saturday in April, abortuary owner Renee Chelian testified 20 children — 20 "others" — were scheduled for abortion that day.
These defendants may be found guilty, but their actions have forced an abortion business owner — and the building owner — out into the open where they had to testify, on the record, about their business interests related to abortion.
Unfortunately, all six rescuers were found guilty of at least one charge each. Two were convicted on two counts and the other four on all three counts. They're all currently on probation. Sentencing will be over a month from now, on March 30.