A Catholic priest risked arrest Thursday when he entered a late-term abortion facility in Washington, D.C. in an effort to save unborn babies from abortion.
The “Red Rose Rescue” involved Fr. Stephen Imbarrato and two pro-life Catholic women who entered the Washington Surgi-Clinic to reach out to women waiting for abortions. These “rescues” involve pro-life advocates entering abortion facilities to give women red roses, information and prayers as they urge them to choose life for their unborn babies. In most cases, the pro-lifers are arrested for refusing to leave.
“As a Catholic priest who is an adoptive father, a great grandpa of two, and the father of two babies who died from abortion decades ago, I know all life is unique, precious, and unrepeatable from the moment fertilization,” Imbarrato said prior to the event. “We are all conceived in the image and likeness of God.”
The lives of the mothers and fathers are important to the pro-life advocates, too. They noted that abortionist Cesare F. Santangelo has been accused of medical malpractice, something his patients may not know about. According to a 2011 medical malpractice/wrongful death lawsuit, a woman named Rebecca Carey Charland died after being treated for a miscarriage at the abortion facility. Charland’s family accused Santangelo of negligence in her treatment.
His D.C. abortion facility aborts unborn babies up to 27 weeks of pregnancy, long past the point of viability.
Imbarrato defended their controversial strategy for reaching out to mothers inside Santangelo’s practice.
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“Many abortion facilities are now located in multi-unit buildings in which the moms are not identifiable or accessible to sidewalk counseling,” he said. “We are not going to abandon these moms and babies because we can’t counsel them outside the building.
“It is absolutely moral, right, and just…indeed necessary to peacefully enter these waiting rooms trying to save these babies and help these moms. Lack of outside access should never stop us from trying to save babies and help pregnant moms,” he continued.
The pro-lifers said they planned to offer every mother a rose with a card and the following message: “God is love and he loves you and your unborn baby. Don’t be afraid. Your life circumstances will change and this baby will give you boundless joy… There is help for you and your baby.” The card also includes the phone numbers of local pregnancy help centers.
Imbarrato said he was arrested twice before during similar rescue attempts.
“Trying to peacefully save babies who otherwise would have no opportunity for life, is a matter of conscience and a moral obligation,” Imbarrato said.