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84-year-old Joan Jacobson, who was shot while canvassing against abortion in Michigan.Mary Margaret Olohan / Twitter

(LifeSiteNews) – An 84-year-old volunteer shot while canvassing in Michigan against a radical pro-abortion initiative won a major award from a national pro-life group. 

Joan Jacobson won the “Person of the Year” award from the Society of St. Sebastian for her bravery after being shot by 74-year-old Richard Harvey, who then described Jacobson to a 911 dispatcher as a “right-wing nut.”

Harvey faces criminal charges.

The Society of St. Sebastian announced: 

While volunteering to pass out literature on voting “no” on proposition 3 for Right to Life of Michigan, Mrs. Jacobson was shot. While passing out literature on a ballot initiative may not be considered the tradition form of lobbying, it is indeed a form of lobbying. Mrs. Jacobson was lobbying the people of Michigan to vote against this pro-abortion amendment. During her time canvassing and speaking with people about the ballot initiative she went to speak with the people on a property [who] were not pro-life. Sadly, they were so enmeshed within the Culture of Death that they not only took offense to her message of Life, but also shot her. 

Right to Life of Michigan thanked its volunteer, in a statement provided to the Society of St. Sebastian. 

“We applaud Joan for the many years she put into advocating for the unborn,” the board stated. “We are grateful for her dedication and bravery in standing against the pro-abortion advances in Michigan.” 

READ: Man who shot 84-year-old pro-life woman set to face trial in Michigan

The organization’s spokesperson previously told LifeSiteNews that Jacobson “has been volunteering with pro-life stuff for a very long time.” Jacobson is also active with the Heritage Action for America’s Sentinel activism training program.

Joe Kral, president of the Society of St. Sebastian, added similar words of praise. 

“Joan clearly has the fortitude of St. Sebastian. She not only faced the Culture of Death through her pro-life advocacy, but faced the violence the it brings,” Kral stated. “She is a true witness to the Culture of Life and an awesome advocate for the unborn.” 

The Society of St. Sebastian is a national pro-life research group that brings together “Catholic scholars and professionals” to promote a “Culture of Life,” according to its website. Affiliated members and fellows include Catholic University of America professor Michael New, Americans United for Life attorney Katie Glenn, and Texas Alliance for Life Executive Director Joe Pojman.

Increase in pro-abortion violence

The shooting of Jacobson is part of a larger problem of violence from pro-abortion activists that has picked up steam since the Dobbs v. Jackson decision that reversed Roe v. Wade was leaked in May 2022.

Since then, pro-abortion activists have protested outside of the homes of Supreme Court justices, in violation of federal law, and one even traveled from California with the clear purpose of killing Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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UPDATE (3/30/23): Fr. Fidelis is jailed along with another pro-life hero

Father Fidelis has been sentenced to 270 days in jail by a Michigan court, while fellow Red Rose rescuer Matthew Connolly was sentenced to 90 days in jail and told to pay fines.

A witness to the sentencing hearing reported that the judge had called Fr. Fidelis, a priest of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal who has dedicated his life to the unborn, “a fraud in habit.”

Like their companions Elizabeth Wagi and Jacob Gregor, who received lighter penalties, Moscinski and Connolly were pronounced guilty of “trespassing, resisting arrest, and disturbing the peace/interfering with a business” on February 24, 2023 at the 46th District Courthouse in Southfield, Michigan.

Wagi received 18 months’ probation with fines and was ordered not to go anywhere near an abortion facility or her co-defendants. Gregor got 12 months’ probation with fines and 10 days community service. He was told not to speak to convicted church members.

LifeSiteNews is still awaiting news of Dr. Monica Miller and Laura Gies, who were found guilty of trespassing and resisting arrest.

The Southfield trial stemmed from a Red Rose Rescue at the Northland Family Planning abortion center, one of three abortion centers owned and operated by Renee Chelian, on April 23, 2021.


UPDATE (1/24/23): 

Pro-life priest and Red Rose Rescuer Fr. Fidelis Moscinski has been found guilty of violating the Freedom to Access Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. 

Yesterday Fr. Fidelis was convicted of the federal crime for a July 2022 “lock and block” rescue he conducted at a Planned Parenthood in Hempstead, New York. The priest is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24 and faces up to six months in federal prison. 

Sign the petition to let Fr. Fidelis know you support him and are praying for him.


UPDATE (10/26/22): 

A Pennsylvania court issued a split ruling against a pro-life Franciscan priest and activist arrested after he entered an abortion clinic to help women choose life.

Father Christopher “Fidelis” Moscinski was found guilty of two misdemeanor charges and not guilty of a felony trespass and a misdemeanor resist, for participating in a Red Rose Rescue at a Planned Parenthood.

Fr. Moscinski entered the clinic on August 27, 2021 with red roses and pro-life literature ready to hand out to women and persuading them to choose life for their children.

Fr. Fidelis has participated in many Red Rose Rescues at abortion centers, and for this has been imprisoned multiple times.

He was also previously arrested for trying to save babies in Ohio in June 2021 and in New Jersey in January 2020.

After the court decision, Fr. Fidelis urged people to “continue keeping all pro-lifers anywhere who are facing charges, especially federal charges, in your prayers, and that God can bring some good out of this unjust persecution.”

Sign this petition today to let Fr. Fidelis know you stand with him and his heroic fight to save unborn lives from abortion.

Fellow pro-life activist and Red Rose Rescuer Will Goodman told LifeSite’s Jim Hale that the court’s ruling to drop one felony and reject another was a “big victory.”But the crackdown on pro-lifers continues!

Just recently the Biden administration targeted Fr. Fidelis and other pro-life activists for Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) violation charges.

This same law was also used by the FBI to raid the home of pro-life Catholic dad Mark Houck last month.

It’s really a disgrace that in America pro-lifers are increasingly being attacked and persecuted simply because they stand for life.

Fr. Fidelis Moscinski needs your prayers and support now more than ever as he continues to fearlessly battle for the unborn.

SIGN THIS PETITION TODAY to tell Fr. Fidelis you stand with him and his courageous fight!


‘Big victory’: Felonies tossed in split verdict for priest attempting rescue of unborn

BREAKING NEWS: Father Fidelis Legal Verdict reaction LIVE by Legal team

FBI charges pro-life priest with violating abortion access law one week after Mark Houck raid

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Pro-life churches, groups, and pregnancy resource centers have faced firebombings, vandalism, and other attacks, with little to no pushback from the White House and leading Democrats.

Just this last Saturday, violent pro-abortion group Jane’s Revenge, which has boasted about its criminal activity, attacked the garage door and driveway of a Pregnancy Aid Detroit board member’s home in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan. Criminals also vandalized the Pregnancy Aid center that morning.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration and Attorney General Merrick Garland continue to largely ignore the issue, instead sending federal agents after peaceful pro-lifers, such as Mark Houck and Paul Vaughn.

This despite an estimate from the current FBI director that 70% of abortion-related violence after the reversal of Roe in June has targeted pro-life centers and churches.