A judge sentenced four pro-life advocates to 45 days in jail Friday for entering a Flint, Michigan abortion facility in 2019 to save unborn babies from abortion and refusing to leave.
Pro-life advocates Lauren Handy, William Goodman, Patrice Woodworth and Matthew Connolly were arrested inside the Women’s Center Abortion Clinic in June 2019 while participating in a Red Rose Rescue. A peaceful, non-violent action, the rescue involves entering an abortion facility and offering information, encouragement and red roses to the women inside.
Often, pro-lifers refuse to leave the building as long as unborn babies are being aborted there, instead choosing to sit on the floor to pray and sing hymns until the police force them to leave.
On Friday, all four pro-life advocates received a 45-day prison sentence and immediately were taken into custody, according to the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU). They will be held at the Genesee County Jail located at 1002 South Saginaw Street, Flint, Michigan.
“We are living in the midst of a genocide and it’s no surprise that the institutions which allow for the exploitation and murder of thousands of unborn children in this state are inflicting further oppression onto those like Lauren, who dare to challenge their agenda,” said Terrisa Bukovinac, founder and executive director of PAAU.
Lauren Handy is the director of activism for PAAU. She and the three others were charged with misdemeanor trespassing, disturbing the peace and obstructing a police officer (a felony) for going “limp” during their arrest, according to the organization. Bukovinac said non-violent social justice activists often decide to “go limp” to refuse to assist in their own unjust arrest.
“Rescuers across the nation must remain vigilant in our defense of preborn babies and we must not allow violent oppressors to shame or intimidate us out of stopping this injustice. The road may seem bleak but we shall overcome,” Bukovinac said.
Seven pro-life advocates participated in the 2019 rescue, but only Handy, Goodman, Woodworth and Connolly were arrested and charged for refusing to leave.
Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society who also was there, previously told LifeNews that they had about 10 minutes to counsel women in the waiting room before the abortion facility discovered them. She said they offered each woman a red rose with a note attached and the contact information for local pregnancy resource centers.
Once the abortion staff discovered the pro-lifers, they ushered the women into a hallway away from the waiting room and then called police, she said.
“At this point the rescuers sang hymns, prayed and tried to communicate with the women who were just in the next hallway,” Miller said.
Miller said she was not arrested because she went outside to counsel other women as they entered the abortion facility.
She said the philosophy of the Red Rose Rescue is that the unborn babies who are scheduled for abortions are the true outcasts of society, and they deserve to have someone speak up for them in the moments before they are to be killed.
“The Red Rose Rescue is an act of charity for women who feel for whatever reason they must have their innocent unborn children killed,” Miller said. “Those who take part are willing to embrace risks for these women and their babies. We will go into the very places where the unborn are put to death and extend help to the moms.”
Like Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Miller said they go “into the dark holes of the poor where the innocent are rejected—and in these dark holes we seek to bring love, hope, and true peace to the women scheduled for abortions, encouraging them to choose life.”