WHITE PLAINS, New York (LifeSiteNews) — Three pro-life activists, including a Catholic priest, were convicted of trespassing yesterday for handing out roses and counseling women inside an abortion mill to choose life for their preborn children.
After a three-day trial, Father Christopher “Fidelis” Moscinski, Matthew Connolly and William Goodman were found guilty of third-degree criminal trespass, a misdemeanor, for a “Red Rose Rescue” they carried out at All Women’s Health & Medical Services on November 27 last year. During the rescue, they aimed to save the lives of preborn babies by offering women support services in an effort to inspire them to let their babies live.
While the men spoke to the women inside the abortion mill, they offered each a red rose, for which their “Red Rose Rescue” operations are named. Each rose had a miraculous medal and a note attached that states, “You were made to love and be loved … Your goodness is greater than the difficulties of your situation. Circumstances change. A new life, however tiny, brings the promise of unrepeatable joy.”
Goodman told LifeSiteNews that the women smiled when they gave them the roses, and that one “relatively long” conversation took place. “It was positive,” Goodman noted.
The men were in the abortion mill for about two hours and insisted on remaining there despite repeated requests from staff and police that they leave the building, according to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. Police officers eventually carried the men out of the building to arrest them.
Steve Anduze, the men’s attorney, clarified to Matt Spillane of Rockland/Westchester News that the Red Rose Rescuers did not block the women’s access to any place or any activity within the abortion mill.
“All they did was hand out roses to the patients in the waiting room and offer them alternatives to abortion and supportive services,” he said. “They were telling them that there were services available to them. They had the opportunity to choose a different path. They wanted to save the lives of the unborn,” Anduze said.
Goodman explained in a Facebook post that on the day the men were convicted, Anduze was interrupted by the prosecutor as he compared the Red Rose Rescuers to those who helped to liberate slaves via the Underground Railroad in the 1800s. Anduze “was seeking to show how these great American rescuers were perceived as ‘criminals’ by those committing the atrocities of slavery,” Goodman noted.
Goodman told LifeSiteNews that he and his fellow rescuers “feel inspired by their heroic witness” in their own efforts to rescue little children also “treated as non-persons.”
In his post, Goodman recounted how just as Anduze “began to speak of the nonviolence practiced in the Civil Rights Movement, the prosecutor interrupted him again. Then most surprisingly, the judge silenced him,” Goodman wrote, in what he called an “unprecedented and wholly unwarranted” move, “especially in light of the fact that the prosecutor” “had free reign” to offer her closing statements without interference.
“Such poor judicial behavior is but one example of how pro-life advocates are treated as second class citizens by pro-abortion states,” the post continued.
The Red Rose Rescuers face up to three months’ jail time or one year of probation, as well as a fine of up to $500, the maximum penalty of the class B misdemeanor of which they were found guilty.
“In response to the jury’s condemnation, we offer them only forgiveness,” Goodman said in a comment on the court decision.
He further commented to LifeSiteNews, “As long as our brothers and sisters in the quiet of the womb are not protected under law, it is sad but not surprising that their advocates won’t be treated with any real justice either.”
Goodman called the verdict a “badge of honor,” saying “it is a blessing to serve them and be willing to suffer so that these precious little ones and their mothers will be protected and loved by society.”
“We will not look back, but keep looking forward to new opportunities to work for authentic justice. We shall not be silent, we shall not stop our efforts until every human person is safeguarded from lethal violence,” he added.
Goodman and Fr. Fidelis have previously been involved in Red Rose Rescue efforts, and earlier this month both received suspended sentences and non-reporting probation for a Red Rose Rescue they conducted on May 14, 2020 at a Washington D.C. abortion mill.
The Red Rose Rescuers’ sentencing will take place in White Plains on Sunday, June 20. The men are prepared to be sentenced to jail terms, Red Rose Rescue’s Monica Miller told LifeSiteNews.
They are asking that fellow pro-lifers pray for the prosecutor, the members of the jury, and all abortion supporters at yesterday’s trial, that their hearts be opened to the truth of the value of life.
Red Rose Rescue (RRR) was inspired by the witness of Canadian pro-lifer Mary Wagner, who for about 10 years has entered abortion centers to speak to mothers and encourage them to choose life, offering each a rose as a symbol of the sanctity of human life, RRR co-founder Dr. Monica Migliorino Miller explained.