People v. Connolly, et al. (“Red Rose Rescue—Flint, Michigan)

On June 7, 2019, several courageous pro-lifers peacefully entered the Women’s Center abortion facility located in Flint, Michigan.  They sat down next to women seated in the waiting room and offered them material help and words of encouragement to leave the center and choose life for their babies.

The pro-lifers had about 10 minutes to counsel the women before center staff rounded the women up and ushered them into a hallway off of the waiting room.  The staff didn’t want to lose any profits for their baby-killing business.

At this point the rescuers sang hymns, prayed, and tried to communicate with the women who were just in the next hallway.  One of the pro-lifers left the abortion center when a woman came out of the back hallway and exited the facility.  The pro-lifer spoke with the woman in the parking lot and tried to persuade her to saver her baby.  Sadly, the woman went back into the abortion center.

While the rescue continued, some pro-lifers stayed in the parking lot and continued to counsel other women who were arriving for their abortions.

A few of the women in the waiting room did take red roses offered to them, as well as pro-life pamphlets.  One pro-lifer was able to leave literature on a shelf near chairs in the waiting room before she left.

Police arrived in force and ordered the four remaining rescuers to leave.  The rescuers told the officers that in good conscience they could not leave while unborn children and their mothers were in grave danger and facing imminent harm from abortion.









The officers placed the rescuers under arrest.  Because of their deeply held religious convictions, the pro-lifers told the officers that they could not assist in their own arrest because doing so would make them morally complicit.  The pro-lifers told the officers that they had to remain in the center in solidarity with those who were facing imminent harm.

The rescuers engaged in a time-honored practice often described as “passive resistance.”  In reality, however, the rescuers offered no resistance.

The officers handcuffed the rescuers and carried them out of the center and into waiting police vehicles to be transported to the jail and booked.

The rescuers were charged with two misdemeanor counts (trespassing and disturbing the peace) and one felony count (assaulting/resisting/obstructing an officer), as a result of the “passive resistance.”

The philosophy of the Red Rose Rescue is that the unborn scheduled for abortion are the true outcasts of society—they are the abandoned and the unwanted—and they deserve to have someone with them as they are about to go off to their execution.  Moreover, the rescuers know from experience that as long as there is a pro-life presence inside the abortion center, the killing is stopped.

The rescuers bear the “red rose” name because a rose is a sign of love.  And attached to each rose offered to the women during the rescue is a card that states on one side:

“You were made to love and to be loved… your goodness is greater than the difficulties of your situation. Circumstances in life change.  A new life, however tiny, brings the promise of unrepeatable joy.” 

Phone numbers of local pregnancy help centers are listed on the reverse side of the card.

Dr. Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and a rescuer, explains:

“The Red Rose Rescue is an act of charity for women who feel for whatever reason they must have their innocent unborn children killed.  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.  Should this help be refused—we will not leave the abortion centers but remain in solidarity with the helpless victims oppressed by the injustice of abortion.  Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta said that her work was ‘to go into the dark holes of the poor.’  The Red Rose Rescue is an action of going 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.”

The four rescuers facing prosecution are William Goodman, Lauren Handy, Patrice Woodworth-Crandall and Matthew Connolly.  The American Freedom Law Center is representing all four rescuers pro bono (for the good).

On August 26, a preliminary examination (probable cause hearing) was held in the 67th District Court in Flint on the felony charge.  The judge found probable cause to bind the rescuers over on the felony charge.  As a result, the entire case was moved to the 7th Judicial Circuit Court in Genesee County, which is also located in Flint, Michigan.

Watch video introduced by the rescuers during the preliminary examination here.