Here is a first-hand account of Friday’s Red Rose Rescues from rescuer Laura Gies.
We had 2 teams: One went to Center City Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia and another went to West Chester, PA Planned Parenthood (in western suburbs). Both arrived at approximately 8:05 – 8:15 am.
Center City Philly PP: The Red Rose Rescue team was able to peacefully enter the waiting room of PP with 7 Red Rose Rescue team members in place by 8:20 am. We were able to talk quietly to 3-4 clients. One young woman there to have Norplant removed took the rose I handed to her.
We had 45 minutes of fruitful interaction within the waiting room, without being noticed at all by the PP staff. Then there was a call for all of us to evacuate. It took a moment to understand what this was about, at first we thought that it was because the staff figured out that several people in the waiting room (us?) were not actual patients.
But then we realized it was due to rescuer Matthew Connolly who, when he managed to get past the clinic security guard, made a decision to “hide” in a bathroom down the hall from the procedure rooms. The clinic staff detected that someone was “barricaded” in the bathroom and they made a hasty judgment that this person was a danger to himself — not realizing of course that Matthew was a pro-life rescuer. As a result, the entire building was evacuated.
The police came and ordered that everyone leave the building—the PP staff, the women scheduled for abortions and us. However I made a decision to remain in the waiting room — as I was concerned that at some point the staff and women would eventually return and the abortions would begin. I wanted to remain to reach out to the women. Another Red Rose Rescuer had the same idea, and stayed in another bathroom off of the waiting room, completely undetected by clinic staff or the police. Two other rescuers, one of them Will Goodman and Dianna Harlow, evacuated the clinic with everyone else as they intended to continue to talk to the women, by now up to ten, who had come for abortions — women who thought that they too were there for an abortion!
Outside on the sidewalk the rescuers were able to interact with the PP clients, gently conversing about not getting an abortion, and this went on for over two hours.
I stayed in the waiting room for one hour, sitting with the roses in my hands, undetected. I prayed a Rosary. A major focus was afoot — the police negotiating with Matthew “barricaded” inside the other restroom down the hall. A SWAT team was even called in, and they managed to get the door of the restroom open — and by now the entire block where the PP clinic is located was cordoned off by police tape. Women arriving for their abortion appointments were told point blank by the police that the clinic was closed for the day.
Matthew was apprehended, by some degree of force (they used a tazer and pepper water spray, yes he says: it was not pleasant). However, Matthew was later released with no charges.
Finally, a uniformed police officer walked into the empty waiting room. I was there quietly praying with roses in my hands, and he suddenly noticed me. He looked at me startled, and began to explain that I did not belong inside, and I must “go outside with the rest of the protestors.”
I responded, “Officer, as long as there is any chance that all the patients and staff would come back into the building to resume the dismemberment of children, I will not leave.”
This exchange continued with both the uniformed officer and a civil affairs officer who came after being alerted to my presence. Eventually, I was handcuffed and dragged out of the waiting room and taken out of the clinic. I received a $50 dollar city citation. The handcuffs were removed and I was free to walk away.
Two hours later the other rescuer in the second restroom (who wishes to remain anonymous) was discovered by police inside and permitted to leave the clinic with no charges.
We witnessed the police informing about a dozen patients approaching the Planned Parenthood doors that all appointments were canceled for the day. No one was allowed entrance. Due to the Red Rose Rescue, no unborn children were killed at this PP clinic. We pray this reprieve will be the opportunity for at least one, and maybe more than one woman to choose life.
West Chester PA PP: Father Fidelis Moscinski, Linda Mueller and John Hinshaw participated in this rescue. Once they entered the waiting room however, the clinic staff detected that they were not there for any PP “services.” Police arrived very quickly and they were belligerent and hostile — even threatening to arrest Fr. Bill Kuscinsky who was outside on the sidewalk because he stepped into the street to take a photo.
Father Fidelis, Linda Mueller, and John Hinshaw were arrested and taken away quickly. Sadly, abortion appointments continued for the day. The prayer supporters that came with the Red Rose Rescuers were alongside the faithful, local pro-lifer sidewalk counselors who were already in place as usual for Fridays at this abortuary. Much sidewalk outreach occurred to women arriving for abortions.
Fr. Fidelis, Linda and John were taken to the County Jail. Unbelievably they have been charged with felony trespass and conspiracy to commit trespass. There is simply no reason for such severe charges.
Linda was arraigned in late afternoon (before close of court for day) and given a $2,500 bail which her husband managed to pay.
John and Father were not arraigned until “night court” after 7 p.m. Although their charges were the same, the bail was doubled. $5,000 bail each. John was bailed out by a generous local benefactor.
Father Fidelis was very clear to everyone that he did not want to be bailed out. He refuses to pay the bond. Thus Fr. Fidelis of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal is still in the Westchester County jail. He will appear before a judge, Friday, Sept. 3rd at 10am — and we hope he will be released on his own recognizance. Please pray.
For those who may not understand why Father Fidelis refuses to pay the bond — When you post bail, the court has the money now, and if you are found guilty later, and you refuse to pay the fine, the fine can be deducted from the bail you posted.
This is something Father Fidelis is avoiding. He has always stated that he is in the best position to do this, as he is a religious, has no money/property, no family responsibilities, etc. After 30+ Red Rose Rescues, and at least a dozen for Father Fidelis himself, Father will be spending at least a few days in jail.
The above comes from an Aug. 30 email from Citizens for a Pro-life Society.