Court denies abortion facility ‘lost profits’ from pro-life rescue that turned 12 women away
WEST BLOOMFIELD, Michigan, July 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A Michigan abortion center admitted in court last week that 11 women scheduled to abort their unborn children did not do so the day of a Red Rose Rescue.
That’s indescribably encouraging news for five pro-life advocates who entered the Women’s Center of Michigan, operated by abortionist Jacob Kalo, on December 2, 2017, to offer red roses, support and alternatives to abortion to women in the waiting room.
Monica Migliorino Miller, Will Goodman, Matthew Connolly, Patrice Woodworth and Robert “Doc” Kovaly were arrested after they refused to leave the abortion facility.
Three of them — Miller, Goodman and Connolly — are currently serving 45 days in jail.
“At the end of the day, it’s mission accomplished. They had 12 people turn away, 11 of them were scheduled abortions,” lawyer Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) told LifeSiteNews.
The number of mothers who were “no shows” or left the abortion center the day of the Red Rose Rescue was revealed during a court-ordered restitution hearing June 29, at which all five pro-life advocates were present.
“The abortionist had to admit under oath that many lives were rescued the day these courageous pro-lifers entered the abortion center waiting room,” Muise said.
The abortion center asked for more than $5,000 in “lost revenue” and $1,500 for attorney’s fees, according to an AFLC press release.
The prosecutor presented testimony and documentary evidence from the abortion center’s office manager that 12 women scheduled for appointments — 11 for abortions and one for a “post operative” procedure — “were turned away by the actions of the pro-lifers,” it stated.
“In fact, none of the 12 would return the abortion center’s calls — the center was desperately trying to reschedule the abortions.”
Muise argued the “harm was not recoverable” because the women could have decided to choose life instead of abortion. He also argued the specific request for lost profits and lawyers’ fees “was not warranted as a matter of law for this simple trespass case,” AFLC stated.
Judge Marc Barron of the 48th District Court agreed, and denied the prosecutor’s and abortion center’s request for restitution.
Barron also presided over the February trial in which a six-person jury took about a half-hour to convict the five pro-lifers of trespass and obstructing a peace officer.
The judge ordered a restitution hearing at the time and in March sentenced the pro-life advocates to eight days of community service and a $500 fine each, as well as one year’s reporting probation with the conditions to stay 500 feet from every abortion center in the U.S. and not contact each other.
Miller, executive director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, said at the time the sentence was unprecedented in its scope and severity.
“Even in the heyday of the Rescue movement, we never saw anything like this, really,” she told LifeSiteNews. “I can only come to the conclusion that the judge is in favor of legalized abortion, that he saw that the Red Rose Rescue was a threat to the practice of abortion.”
Muise is appealing the convictions in an August 22 hearing. He filed an emergency application to stay the sentences pending appeal.
However, it took three months for the court to deny the emergency application on June 15. That was a day after Barron sentenced Miller and Goodman to 45 days in jail.
The two had contended the probation order was unjust and a violation of their constitutional right to free assembly. On June 1, they went to Kalo’s abortion center — during which time Miller talked one woman out of having an abortion — and were arrested for breaching probation.
Barron also sentenced Connolly to 45 days in jail on June 29.
Like Goodman, Connolly is a full-time itinerate pro-life missionary and admitted to Barron he violated his probation, Muise said.
The pro-life rescuers “were very fortified when they heard through the restitution hearing that their actions had a direct effect,” said Muise.
Lynn Mills, president of Pro-Life Michigan who was at the restitution hearing, said all pro-life activists can be encouraged by the proceedings.
The judge said he could not “charge the Red Rose Rescue with restitution because there was a lawful protest going on,” Mills told LifeSiteNews. “So it was not just the Red Rose Rescue.”
That remark and the abortion center’s evidence “told us that we as a pro-life movement are effective,” Mills said. “We all need to be encouraged to be out there.”
Mills said Goodman, who refused bail conditions and stayed in jail until his trial, is due to be released at midnight July 5 and Miller on July 17. She thinks Connolly will be released around the end of July.
The growing Red Rose Rescue movement is inspired by Canadian pro-life activist and prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner, who has served almost five years in jail to date for her attempts to save women and children from the violence of abortion.