FLINT, Michigan, August 27, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A jury will decide if the four pro-lifers who entered a Michigan abortion facility to distribute roses and try to save babies on June 7 committed a felony by peacefully resisting arrest, a judge decided during an evidenciary hearing Monday.
The pro-lifers were conducting a Red Rose Rescue, a Mary Wagner-inspired effort that revives some of the tactics of the early days of the pro-life movement before President Bill Clinton signed the Federal Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) into law. No Red Rose Rescuers have been charged under FACE.
The pro-lifers facing the felony resisting arrest charge – the “Flint four” – are Lauren Handy, 25; Will Goodman, 50; Matthew Connolly, 37; and Patrice Woodworth-Crandall, 56. All are veteran pro-life activists who have participated in previous Red Rose Rescues. The group also faces misdemeanor charges of trespassing and disturbing the peace. The abortion facililty they entered was the Women’s Health Center of Flint.
If convicted, the felony resisting arrest charge could land the pro-life activists in jail for two years.
“Since when is there an obligation – in this case a legal obligation – for someone placed under arrest to actively assist in their arrest?” asked Dr. Monica Migliorino Miller of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, one of the organizers of the Red Rose Rescue movement. “In other words, does a person being placed under arrest have a legal duty to actively assist in their arrest? In what sense is laying down on the ground or floor, going limp(,) resistance?”
“This felony charge is unprecedented in the history of pro-life activism that spans decades,” Miller told LifeSiteNews. “Honestly, it is unheard of that those engaged in a social justice cause would be slapped with such a charge. But those of the Red Rose Rescues hope to simply offer up this sacrifice, and see all of it as a chance to stand up for the unborn, and to witness to the truth before the judge, jury, police officers, and the abortion clinic staff.”
“Regardless of the outcome, it is truly an honor to suffer for the Lord,” Handy told LifeSiteNews. “I look forward to my possible jail time because I will be given a unique opportunity to ‘sidewalk counsel.’ I will be able to live (and) suffer alongside moms in crisis pregnancies in (the) Flint jail system and give them the strength needed not to be pressured to abort.”
“I have witnessed firsthand the unimaginable abuse and torture they have faced in the jail system,” said Handy, who was arrested and jailed for five days for the June 7 Red Rose Rescue. Her non-profit, Mercy Missions, then raised $600 for the commissaries of mothers incarcerated in the Flint jail system so that they could pay for nurse visits and prenatal vitamins.
Attorney Robert Muise is representing the four activists and argues his clients were simply engaged in traditional civil disobedience.
A trial date has not yet been set.
“It's all for God's glory and He must be praised no matter what happens,” concluded Miller. “How can pro-lifers expect not to endure a measure of suffering when we fight against such evil as the legalized slaughter of the innocent? The victory will not be won without sacrifice. God is our strength in this movement. We have to rely on Him.”