NY AG James Files Lawsuit Against Anti-Abortion Group That Interfered With Patient Care on Long Island
New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against members of Red Rose Rescue (RRR), an anti-abortion group, for invading reproductive health care clinics, threatening staff and clinicians, and terrorizing patients on Long Island and in Westchester.
In the lawsuit, James aims to prohibit RRR members from coming within 30 feet of any reproductive health care facility in New York State, in addition to seeking civil penalties and damages. RRR members Christopher “Fidelis” Moscinski, Matthew Connolly, William Goodman, Laura Gies, John Hinshaw and other unnamed members work to stop abortions by trespassing into medical facilities/clinics and refusing to leave until physically removed by law enforcement.
“Red Rose Rescue has repeatedly violated the national state clinic access law, and they have pledged to continue to invade, intimidate, harass and interfere as long as abortion is being performed in any state,” James said. “And that is where I come in, and I come in with the force of the law.”
The defendants interfered with three New York clinics in the past two years by accessing facilities under false pretenses, occupying waiting rooms while refusing to leave, and barricading entrances. The facilities affected were All Women’s Care in Manhasset, Nassau County on April 24, 2021, All Women’s Health in White Plains, Westchester County on November 27, 2021, and Planned Parenthood in Hempstead, Nassau County on July 7, 2022. Certain defendants named in the lawsuit are completing jail sentences in Michigan and will be sentenced in New York later this month.
At All Women’s Care and All Women’s Health, one RRR member pretended to be a patient seeking care and once admitted, let other members inside to infiltrate the clinics. At All Women’s Health Care, Moscinski entered carrying a black duffle bag, which staff and patients feared contained weapons instead of his friar robes he changed into in the waiting room. Moscinski, Gies, Hinshaw and other members disrupted operations for two hours and were forcibly removed after they refused to leave when threatened with arrest. At All Women’s Health, Moscinski, Goodman, Connolly and other members performed a similar operation before being forcibly removed from the clinic.
At Planned Parenthood, Moscinski blocked access into the parking lot and pedestrian access gates by placing six industrial locks and chains on the front gates of the facility. When the locks were removed by authorities, Moscinski laid down in the driveway until physically removed by multiple police officers.
“We’re going to continue to fight each and every day, not just at Planned Parenthood of Greater New York [PPGNY] but with our allies in coalition with our elected and with our supporters to fight back,” said Dipal Shah, executive director and chief external affairs officer of PPGNY Action Fund. “We proudly stand in solidarity with you, Attorney General James, and we want to hold these extremists accountable.”
For their crimes in Manhasset, Gies, and Moscinski will be sentenced on June 30, 2023. Hinshaw was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years’ probation on April 17, 2023. For their crimes in White Plains, Moscinski, Goodman, and Connolly were sentenced to three months in jail for criminal trespassing on August 2, 2022. Moscinski was convicted of violation of the FACE act for his actions in Hempstead and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 27, 2023.
Red Rose Rescue continues their efforts to prevent abortions across the country despite multiple convictions.
Attorney General James encouraged any New Yorker seeking legal advice about access to abortion to use the Attorney General Office’s confidential, pro bono hotline at 212-899-9567.