NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday sued an anti-abortion group dedicated to entering abortion clinics and trying to stop abortions, saying a court order was needed to stop further actions.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, targets the group Red Rose Rescue and several individual activists. It seeks to prevent the activists, and anyone else working with them, from coming within 30 feet of an abortion clinic, and to award money damages for past actions.
According to Red Rose Rescue’s website, members enter abortion clinics, give patients roses and try to persuade them not to go through with abortions, refusing to leave until forcibly removed. A “code of conduct” on the site states that “(u)njust imprisonment” for these actions “is a spiritual extension of the rescue.”
“Since James is committed to the legalized killing of the innocent, she is using Red Rose Rescue as an excuse to squash pro-life speech and activity with which she personally disagrees,” Red Rose Rescue leader Monica Migliorino Miller said in an email. She called the group’s members “quiet, loving and completely peaceful.”
James in a statement called Red Rose Rescue an extremist group and said its actions have led to multiple patients in New York having their appointments delayed or missed.
“Red Rose Rescue has made it their mission to terrorize reproductive health care providers and the patients they serve,” James said in a statement. “Only we have the right to make decisions about our own bodies – not anti-choice legislators, and not bigoted zealots.”
The individual defendants previously trespassed in abortion clinics in New York by falsely representing themselves as patients, and in one instance barricaded a clinic entrance in Hempstead, New York, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit said Red Rose Rescue members have continued these actions even after being arrested and jailed, and that the court order was necessary to prevent further trespassing.
(Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Alexia Garamfalvi and Daniel Wallis)
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