Latest Red Rose Rescue: Catholic priest, pro-lifers arrested for refusing to leave NY abortion center
MANHASSET, New York, April 26, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic priest and three pro-lifers were arrested on Saturday for entering and refusing to leave the “All Women’s Care” abortion facility, where they passed out roses and implored the mothers inside not to abort their children.
This was the 21st Red Rose Rescue to take place in the United States since September 2017 and the second since the national Red Rose Rescue conference last December.
The Red Rose Rescues are something of a revival of successful tactics used during the early days of the pro-life movement, before the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) imposed harsh penalties on pro-lifers who save babies by physically blocking “access” to abortion facilities. They are also inspired by Canadian activist Mary Wagner, who has repeatedly entered Toronto abortion centers and offered red roses to mothers waiting to have their children aborted. Wagner has spent six years in jail for her actions.
U.S. Red Rose Rescues almost always result in arrests and pro-lifers being charged. Charges have been dropped a number of times, notably in federal court; others have ended in trespassing convictions. The state of Michigan has treated rescuers the most harshly, jailing pro-lifers and even charging four with felony obstruction of officers. Michigan’s attorney general is a lesbian in a same-sex “marriage.”
Rescuers have ranged in age from 21 to 65. None have been charged under FACE.
At approximately 8:00 a.m. on March 24, Gies, Hinshaw, Connolly, and Moscinski entered All Women’s Care, which is located at 444 Community Drive in Manhasset. Once inside, they quietly approached mothers seated in the waiting room and offered them red roses as a symbol of life. Attached to each rose was a card which stated on one side, “You were made to love and to be loved... your goodness is greater than the difficulties of your situation. Circumstances in life change. A new life, however tiny, brings the promise of unrepeatable joy.” The other side listed phone numbers of local pregnancy help centers.
“The rescuers, like any others who recognize an urgent situation, responded to dire circumstances of imminent peril in a spirit of intervention on behalf of innocent babies and beleaguered mothers,” the group said in a press release, noting that Proverbs 24:11 states: “Rescue those who are being led away to death.”
The pro-lifers’ activities disrupted abortion center business for around two hours. When police officers arrived on the scene, pro-lifers attempted to continue conversation with women or sat on the floor praying quietly or singing hymns until they were placed under arrest.
“The Red Rose Rescue is an act of charity for women who feel for whatever reason they must have their innocent unborn children killed. Those who took part were willing to embrace risks for these women and their babies,” said spokeswoman Lisa Hart. “We will go into the very places where the unborn are put to death and extend help to the moms. Should this help be refused—we will not leave the abortion centers but remain in solidarity with the helpless victims oppressed by the injustice of abortion. Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta said that her work was ‘to go into the dark holes of the poor.’ The Red Rose Rescue is an action of going into the dark holes of the poor—namely abortion clinics where the innocent are rejected—and in these dark holes we seek to bring hope, true peace, and the presence of God.”
When the pro-lifers were taken to the local police station, they evangelized the police officers while being processed. The group reported that many of the officers stated that they did not know that there was an abortion facility in their neighborhood.
Fr. Fidelis, Gies, Hinshaw, and Connelly are due in 1st District Court for the County of Nassau on July 12, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.