(LifeSiteNews) – A New Jersey prosecutor has dropped trespassing charges against four pro-life activists, including Father Fidelis Moscinski, for a Red Rose Rescue conducted in 2018.
The charges were dropped after the judge granted permission for the pro-lifers to assert the defense of necessity at trial. A defense of necessity is one that admits the defendant committed illegal conduct but argues it couldn’t be avoided and was justified because it would prevent “the occurrence of a harm that is more serious,” as the Legal Information Institute explains.
Moscinski, Will Goodman, Patrice Woodward, and Matthew Connolly were released from all trespassing charges by Trenton Municipal Court on November 18, 2022.
“The dismissal of all charges against these courageous pro-life advocates brings to an end the long saga of this case,” Thomas More Society Special Counsel Christopher Ferrara said. “One can only admire the willingness of these four to make an offering of their own bodies, as prisoners, to save the unborn.”
“In an unusual development in the case…Ferrara successfully argued for the right to raise the defense of necessity at trial,” the law firm explained in a press release. “The grounds, as Ferrara demonstrated, were that the women about to undergo abortions had never been given information on the grave psychological consequences of abortion.”
The release noted that there is evidence of an “increased risk of suicide, drug abuse, exacerbation of preexisting mental illness, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” for women after abortion. Ultimately, “Ferrara’s briefings and arguments persuaded the Trenton Municipal Court to allow the defense, which the state would have had to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Ferrara described his argument as “unusual” because it did not approach the situation with a “focus on defense of life.” Instead, he argued that there is a “lack of informed consent to abortion.” He added that “women have the right to sue for damages” in the state of New Jersey.
The pro-lifers were arrested on December 22, 2018 for their involvement in the Red Rose Rescue. A charge of “defiant trespass” was added because they were planning “a peaceful sit-in” at a Planned Parenthood facility in Trenton.
During a Red Rose Rescue, pro-lifers enter the waiting room of an abortion facility and offer the women inside roses and positive information about alternatives to abortion, in a final effort to save the unborn before they are killed.
“We are grateful for the remarkably effective representation of Christopher Ferrara and the support of the Thomas More Society,” said Moscinski. “May we see many more such victories for the cause of life!”
As participants in the Red Rose Rescues, pro-lifers risk arrest, fines, and imprisonment, all of which they willingly accept in solidarity with the unborn in danger of or victims of abortion. Over the past few years, volunteers have faced charges for many rescues, with some resulting in penalties and others being dismissed.
In February, two prominent pro-life activists saw their charges reduced from aggravated trespassing to simple misdemeanor trespassing. A month later, Moscinski, Goodman, and Connolly were found guilty of trespassing for a rescue conducted in New York. They were later sentenced to three months in prison. More recently, four pro-lifers were sentenced to 45 days in jail for a rescue conducted three years ago in Michigan.
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.
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!
Moscinski was granted a providential split verdict in October when he was found guilty of two misdemeanor charges but not guilty of felony trespass and misdemeanor resist, all related to a 2021 rescue. However, just one week after the FBI raided Mark Houck’s home, the priest was arrested by the federal agency and is currently facing charges of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). The trial for that case has not yet taken place.