Legal professional Normal James Sues Militant Anti-Abortion Group for Invading Clinics and Blocking Entry to Reproductive Well being Care

Pink Rose Rescue Violated Clinic Entry Legal guidelines and Trespassed

at Abortion Clinics on Lengthy Island and in Westchester

Lawsuit Seeks to Prohibit Pink Rose Rescue from Coming Inside 30 Toes

of Any Reproductive Well being Care Facility in New York State

NEW YORK – New York Legal professional Normal Letitia James as we speak filed a lawsuit towards members of Pink Rose Rescue, an anti-abortion extremist group, for invading reproductive well being care clinics, threatening workers and clinicians, and terrorizing sufferers. Pink Rose Rescue and its members — together with Christopher “Fidelis” Moscinski, Matthew Connolly, William Goodman, Laura Gies, and John Hinshaw — have repeatedly trespassed at abortion clinics and bodily blocked entry to reproductive well being care providers in an effort to cease clinics from working. Pink Rose Rescue members have interfered with clinics in Nassau and Westchester Counties by mendacity to clinicians as a way to acquire entry to the services underneath false pretenses, bodily occupying ready rooms and refusing to go away, and barricading entrances. At every of the New York clinics, a number of sufferers’ appointments have been delayed or missed on account of Pink Rose Rescue’s actions.

Obstructing or interfering with entry to reproductive well being care clinics, together with abortion clinics, is unlawful underneath america Freedom of Entry to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) and the New York State Clinic Entry Act. Within the lawsuit filed as we speak, Legal professional Normal James seeks to ban Pink Rose Rescue members from coming inside 30 ft of any reproductive well being care facility in New York state, along with civil penalties and damages.

“Pink Rose Rescue has made it their mission to terrorize reproductive well being care suppliers and the sufferers they serve,” stated Legal professional Normal James. “Solely now we have the precise to make choices about our personal our bodies — not anti-choice legislators, and never bigoted zealots. We is not going to enable Pink Rose Rescue to harass and harangue New Yorkers with their outrageous militant ways. Make no mistake: abortion is well being care, and as New York’s Legal professional Normal, I’ll proceed to guard and defend everybody’s authorized proper to soundly entry well being care.”

Pink Rose Rescue is a radical anti-abortion group whose members search to forestall abortions by trespassing into personal medical services and clinics and refusing to go away till they’re bodily eliminated by regulation enforcement. Regardless of a number of convictions in New York and throughout the nation, Pink Rose Rescue continues to repeat their hateful, disruptive, and legal misconduct, terrorizing reproductive well being care suppliers and sufferers. Up to now two years, Pink Rose Rescue has delayed and interfered with the availability of reproductive well being care providers at three clinics in New York.

All Girls’s Care in Manhasset, Nassau County

On April 24, 2021, Moscinski, Gies, Hinshaw, and members of Pink Rose Rescue invaded All Girls’s Care, a reproductive well being providers clinic. One member of the group pretended to be a affected person looking for care as a way to infiltrate the clinic. After checking in for her appointment, she went to a aspect entrance and opened it to let in extra members of Pink Rose Rescue, who invaded the ready room and lay on the bottom screaming that they’d not go away. When Moscinski entered, he was carrying a black duffle bag, which workers and sufferers feared held weapons. He pulled out his friar’s robes and altered within the ready room. Clinic workers, involved about security, directed sufferers to go away and take cowl of their automobiles. Pink Rose Rescue disrupted operations on the clinic for 2 hours. When threatened with arrest, they went limp and fell to the bottom, forcing police to hold them out of the clinic. On April 17, 2023, Hinshaw was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years’ probation for legal trespass and obstructing the police. Gies and Moscinski are at the moment serving jail sentences in Michigan and shall be sentenced on June 30, 2023.

All Girls’s Well being in White Plains, Westchester County

On November 27, 2021, Moscinski, Goodman, Connolly, and members of Pink Rose Rescue invaded All Girls’s Well being and Medical Providers, a non-public reproductive well being clinic. One member pretended to be a affected person looking for an abortion and as soon as admitted to the clinic, held the door open for different Pink Rose Rescue members to hurry inside, the place they occupied the ready room and threatened to remain till the ability stopped performing abortions, forcing sufferers to cover out within the hallways. The occupation lasted for 2 hours earlier than they have been carried out. On August 2, 2022, Moscinski, Goodman, and Connolly have been every sentenced to 3 months in jail for legal trespass.

Deliberate Parenthood in Hempstead, Nassau County

On July 7, 2022, Moscinski positioned six industrial locks and chains on the entrance gates of a Deliberate Parenthood clinic, blocking the driveway into the car parking zone and pedestrian entry gates in order that workers and sufferers couldn’t enter. Neither the police nor the fireplace division might reduce the locks with guide instruments and in the end resorted to a battery-operated noticed. When the locks have been lastly eliminated, Moscinski laid down within the driveway to forestall automobiles from coming into the ability and needed to be bodily eliminated and carried out by a number of cops. Moscinski was convicted of legal violation of the FACE Act and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 27, 2023.

With this lawsuit, Legal professional Normal James seeks to guard New York reproductive well being care services and their sufferers by prohibiting Pink Rose Rescue, Moscinski, Connolly, Goodman, Gies, Hinshaw, and their associates from knowingly coming inside 30 ft of any clinic within the state. Legal professional Normal James can be looking for civil penalties and damages to be decided by the courtroom.

This lawsuit is the most recent motion Legal professional Normal James has taken to defend abortion entry in New York and throughout the nation. Following the Supreme Courtroom’s resolution to finish Roe v. Wade, Legal professional Normal James launched a professional bono authorized hotline to offer authorized assist to sufferers and well being care suppliers nationwide. Legal professional Normal James has repeatedly led multi-state coalitions in submitting amicus briefs to fight efforts to roll again abortion rights, and to assist defending Individuals’ entry to secure, authorized abortions. Throughout former President Trump’s Administration, Legal professional Normal James challenged makes an attempt to limit entry to reproductive healthcare providers, such because the Trump administration’s Title X rule and submitted testimony urging passage of the Girls’s Well being Safety Act. Legal professional Normal James has helped lead coalitions of attorneys normal to defend abortion entry in states together with Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Legal professional Normal James has supported state laws to offer funds to abortion suppliers in New York and known as for an modification to the state structure to make sure the precise to an abortion.

Most lately, Legal professional Normal James co-led a multistate coalition in submitting an amicus temporary in Texas v. Becerra, supporting the Biden Administration’s U.S. Division of Well being and Human Service’s protection of entry to emergency abortion care. Final month, Legal professional Normal James led two separate multistate coalitions in submitting two amicus briefs within the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit arguing that separate choices issued by the identical district courtroom choose within the U.S. District Courtroom for the Northern District of Texas would hurt entry to mifepristone and threaten privateness protections over adolescents’ reproductive well being care choices.

“Deliberate Parenthood of Larger New York applauds New York Legal professional Normal Letitia James for taking a stand towards protestors exterior our well being facilities that harass, threaten, and intimidate sufferers looking for well being care,” stated Dipal Shah, Govt Director and Chief Exterior Affairs Officer, Deliberate Parenthood of Larger New York Motion Fund. “Everybody deserves the flexibility to entry the care they want with out risk or concern. With this motion, the Legal professional Normal is standing up for New Yorkers’ proper to entry care with dignity. PPGNY is dedicated to fostering a secure setting that honors everybody’s proper to entry the complete vary of sexual and reproductive well being care — which is able to at all times embody abortion providers. We’re proud to proceed to work with the Legal professional Normal and lawmakers on long-term options to keep up secure and dignified entry to our well being facilities, it doesn’t matter what.”

“New Yorkers deserve entry to abortion care and reproductive well being care providers freed from any harassment, concern, or intimidation,” stated New York Senate Majority Chief Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “The Senate Majority Convention has championed laws to increase entry to abortion care and defend suppliers who ship crucial reproductive well being providers in clinics throughout the state. I need to thank Legal professional Normal Letitia James for taking authorized motion towards members of this anti-abortion group which have employed harmful ways to intervene with New Yorkers’ rights to entry reproductive well being care providers. New York has no tolerance for anti-abortion extremism; we’ll proceed to face up for reproductive rights for sufferers and suppliers alike.”

“Whereas we respect the precise to peaceable protest and the liberty of expression, invading clinics and blocking entry to reproductive well being care will not be solely unlawful but in addition an egregious violation of the rights and security of people looking for important medical providers,” stated Westchester County Govt George Latimer. “The actions of this group in these incidents goes far past free speech and free meeting; they particularly used pressure to cease others from accessing providers. We is not going to tolerate such actions that intimidate and terrorize sufferers, workers, and clinicians. We’re dedicated to upholding the regulation and making certain that each one people have entry to the reproductive well being carethey want. This lawsuit sends a powerful message that we’ll maintain accountable those that try to impede on the rights and well-being of others.”

“We efficiently prosecuted three Pink Rose Rescue members for his or her legal conduct that befell in White Plains in November 2021,” stated Westchester County District Legal professional Miriam E. Rocah. “They have been convicted and sentenced to jail final yr by a choose who additionally discovered that considered one of them lied throughout the trial. I applaud the Legal professional Normal for looking for to ban Pink Rose Rescue’s acts of obstruction and interference of sufferers’ reproductive rights in New York. In Westchester County, I’ll proceed to make use of the complete pressure of my workplace to guard sufferers’ entry to reproductive well being care and maintain accountable violators who attempt to intervene.”

“Pink Rose Rescue’s actions in reproductive clinics on Lengthy Island and in Westchester County have been illegal,” stated Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “The Supreme Courtroom has demonstrated its full disregard for reproductive rights and enabled the disturbing actions of anti-abortion organizations throughout the nation; however right here in New York we is not going to enable these organizations to intimidate sufferers and hinder entry into reproductive clinics that present important providers to our residents. I’m grateful to New York State Legal professional Normal Letitia James and Governor Kathy Hochul for taking authorized motion to guard the rights of all who search high quality reproductive care.”

“I’m so grateful to Legal professional Normal James for commencing this motion towards these most virulent and violent anti-abortion extremists,” stated State Senator Shelley Mayer. “New York residents have already skilled first-hand the assaults of Pink Rose Rescue on sufferers and clinics throughout Nassau and Westchester Counties. Sadly, over 30 years in the past, as an Assistant Legal professional Normal, I personally labored with colleagues to cease the notorious Operation Rescue group from disrupting and interfering with girls looking for abortion providers in New York state. Immediately’s announcement by the Legal professional Normal confirms that this combat to make sure entry to abortion providers is way from over, even right here in New York state. I applaud Legal professional Normal James for her swift motion towards this group and its members. New York is not going to again down, and we’ll proceed to rise above the violence and hate and guarantee girls have unimpeded entry to the providers to which they’re entitled.”

“Interfering with the security and entry of sufferers looking for reproductive well being care is merciless and unlawful,” stated State Senator Kevin Thomas. “I applaud Legal professional Normal James for implementing our legal guidelines and shifting to carry extremist teams that invade clinics and block entry to suppliers accountable for his or her lawlessness. It’s crucial that well being care professionals can proceed to offer providers with out concern of intimidation and harassment on Lengthy Island and throughout New York.”

“I wish to thank Legal professional Normal James for persevering with to combat for reproductive well being in New York state,” stated Assemblymember Taylor Darling. “The actions taken by Pink Rose Rescue to forestall people from receiving reproductive care are unacceptable and I’m glad that motion is being taken towards them. Defending reproductive well being is a precedence in New York and it wants to remain that manner.”

“I applaud Legal professional Normal James for taking robust motion to guard a lady’s proper to decide on in New York state,” stated Assemblymember Phara Souffrant Forrest. “At a time when girls’s rights are underneath increasingly dire risk throughout the nation, it’s extra important than ever that New York stay a secure harbor, the place the precise to abortion is safe and assured.”

“Anti-abortion extremist terror has no place in New York state, and I’m proud to have an Legal professional Normal who will use the facility of her workplace to make that clear,” stated Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas, major sponsor of the Reproductive Freedom and Fairness Act. “Pink Rose Rescue has been terrorizing sufferers, suppliers, and clinic workers for too lengthy and violating each federal and state legal guidelines that defend clinic entry within the course of. I’m grateful to the Legal professional Normal for submitting this lawsuit as we speak and stay up for working collectively to guard and increase entry to abortion care in New York.”

“New York will hold defending assaults from extremist anti-abortion teams as we stay a bastion for girls’s rights and a sanctuary state for abortions. I applaud Legal professional Normal Letitia James for taking swift authorized motion towards the militant Pink Rose anti-abortion group for his or her atrocious assaults on abortion clinics,” stated Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. “We’re sending a transparent message {that a} girl’s proper to decide on and to entry reproductive healthcare will at all times be accessible to New Yorkers and girls throughout the nation, and that hate and terrorism won’t ever be tolerated.”

“Girls have the precise to determine what to do with their our bodies. The anti-abortion extremist group, Pink Rose Rescue, has chosen to trespass and bodily block entry to reproductive well being clinics to cease the clinics from working. These antics take time and assets away from the ladies who’re looking for healthcare help,” stated Assemblymember Alicia L. Hyndman. “I assist the Legal professional Normal in looking for to ban the Pink Rose Rescue from coming throughout the neighborhood of reproductive well being care services in New York.”

“I welcome this authorized motion towards the despicable characters related to Pink Rose Rescue, an extremist group which has turn out to be increasingly brazen as abortion rights proceed to be stripped away within the Trump period,” stated Assemblymember Charles D. Lavine. “Whereas I applaud Legal professional Normal James for implementing current regulation, I’ll proceed to work with my colleagues within the legislature to create the authorized means making certain that girls are safely in a position to get the reproductive well being care they want.”

“I applaud the Legal professional Normal and her workplace for taking robust motion towards the anti-abortion agitators invading girls’s well being clinics in our space,” stated Assemblymember Dana Levenberg. “We is not going to succumb to these trying to undermine girls’s well being care by imposing their beliefs on unwilling folks. New York state regulation protects girls, our proper to decide on, and people who present us with reproductive well being care.”

“The actions of the Pink Rose group final yr, after they occupied an abortion clinic in Westchester County and wouldn’t go away, have been each unlawful and despicable,” stated Assemblymember Amy Paulin. “It wasn’t clear on the time in the event that they have been armed or not, and so they have been a really threatening presence to the employees and sufferers within the clinic. It took a number of hours together with police motion as a way to get them to go away. I’ve spoken with among the individuals who have been there, and so they’ve stated it was terrifying. An incident like this could by no means be allowed to occur once more, and I commend Legal professional Normal James for taking motion to verify this group is evaded reproductive well being care clinics in New York state.”

“I’m in full assist of the Legal professional Normal’s lawsuit towards Pink Rose Rescue,” stated Assemblymember J. Gary Pretlow. “Clinics ought to function a secure haven for many who are making a private, heart-wrenching resolution that can have a big affect on their life. So these looking for medical care and the trusted and devoted docs and reproductive well being advocates needs to be protected against the hate and violence exhibited by this terrorist group.”

“Permitting lawful actions to happen is a trademark of a civilized society,” stated Assemblymember MaryJane Shimsky. “For many who search to close down girls’s reproductive well being clinics by stopping operations, probably violating medical protocols, and probably placing everybody on web site in danger, simply because they don’t just like the providers being provided, there should be penalties. That’s the reason I congratulate Legal professional Normal Letitia James on pursuing this case towards Pink Rose Rescue and their management.”

“Throughout the nation, now we have seen girls’s reproductive rights underneath assault by conservative judges, elected officers, and harmful extremists in an try to undermine girls’s basic rights,” stated Assemblymember Gina Sillitti. “I applaud our Legal professional Normal Letitia James for taking decisive motion as we speak on behalf of all New Yorkers. Their brazen invasions of abortion clinics and obstructing entry to important well being care providers can’t be tolerated. This authorized motion sends a transparent message that New York will fiercely defend girls in our state.”

“There was an alarming rise of anti-abortion extremist teams terrorizing sufferers who’re looking for healthcare by intimidation ways, threats of violence, and bodily blockading abortion clinics right here in New York,” stated Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon. “This has resulted in some sufferers delaying or cancelling their reproductive well being care visits, and traumatizing sufferers with abuse. Legal professional Normal James’ lawsuit sends a transparent message to anti-abortion extremist teams who violate federal and state legal guidelines: you aren’t welcome in New York. New York state has accomplished every part in our energy to guard abortion entry and make New York probably the most inviting state for reproductive healthcare within the nation. I need to thank Legal professional Normal Letitia James for defending these essential freedoms.”

“New York state is a secure place for folks looking for reproductive well being care,” stated Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages. “Anybody who impedes this proper should be held accountable. I applaud Legal professional Normal Letitia James for taking swift motion towards these dangerous actors in my residence county of Nassau.”

“In November 2021, members of Pink Rose Rescue tried to invade a well being care facility in White Plains. Three of these people have been discovered responsible of trespassing for that incident, however the incident, and others prefer it, triggered lingering concern and insecurity,” stated Westchester Boardof Legislators Chair Vedat Gashi. “To handle these considerations, the Westchester County Board of Legislators handed the ‘Reproductive Healthcare Services Entry Act,’ to ensure secure entry to all girls looking for medical care in Westchester; however this regulation will not be sufficient. We should additionally prosecute these hoping to destroy that proper — that’s the reason we’re so extremely proud that Legal professional Normal Letitia James is prosecuting Pink Rose Rescue as we speak. We stand with girls looking for medical care in peace, and stand towards those who would intimidate and hinder entry — and are proud that Legal professional Normal Letitia James does as nicely.”

“Bronxites, New Yorkers, and people out of state are extremely depending on the reproductive well being care services in Lengthy Island and Westchester,” stated New York Metropolis Council Member Amanda Farias. “As legislators throughout the nation proceed to dam entry to reproductive care, in New York we’re making it clear that we’ll not enable for entry to abortion to be blocked legislatively nor actually. Thanks to the Legal professional Normal in your management on defending abortion in New York state.”

“Anybody looking for abortion care in New York ought to be capable to obtain that care free from intimidation and violence,” stated Donna Lieberman, government director, New York Civil Liberties Union. “We thank Legal professional Normal James for taking motion to make sure that New York stays a pacesetter for reproductive rights and well being and that the regulation is used to forestall people from unlawfully shutting down entry to abortion.”

“The violence suppliers face as we speak is past something ever seen earlier than. Regardless of a worldwide pandemic, and mandated shutdowns, assaults on abortion clinics, sufferers, and suppliers have hit a document excessive,” stated Catherine Lederer-Plaskett, President, WCLA – Selection Issues and Founder, Heart for Evaluation and Monitoring of Clinic Harassers (CATCH). “The act of invading after which occupying reproductive well being care services whereas different agitators overwhelm sufferers is now the modus operandi of recent wave anti-abortion agitators, together with Pink Rose Rescue. Abortion is well being care and authorized in New York state. Entry to reproductive well being care should be secure for all sufferers, suppliers, and workers. We thank Legal professional Normal James for main the authorized battle to carry these violent extremists accountable. It’s by concerted efforts by our legislatures, regulation enforcement, and organizations corresponding to CATCH that we will guarantee secure, unimpeded entry to well being care.”

“As a supplier of sexual and reproductive well being that advocates for its sufferers’ proper to get the care they want, Public Well being Options strongly condemns actions that purpose to forestall entry to well being providers, threaten affected person autonomy, and create a local weather of concern to intimidate clinic workers,” stated Lisa David, President and CEO, Public Well being Options. “Such actions are essentially unacceptable, and we applaud Legal professional Normal James for taking motion to guard entry to reproductive healthcare in New York state.”

This matter is being dealt with by Senior Counsel Sandra Pullman of the Civil Rights Bureau and Assistant Legal professional Normal Julia Toce of the Watertown Regional Workplace, underneath the supervision of Civil Rights Deputy Bureau Chief Travis England. Extra help was supplied by Particular Counsel for Reproductive Justice Galen Leigh Sherwin of the Govt Division, Well being Care Bureau Chief Darsana Srinivasan, and Detective Investigator Wilsonia Jean-Philippe of the Investigations Bureau. The Civil Rights Bureau and the Well being Care Bureau are a part of the Division for Social Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Legal professional Normal Meghan Fake. The Investigations Bureau is part of the Division for Felony Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Legal professional Normal José Maldonado. The Govt Division, Division for Social Justice, and Division for Felony Justice are all overseen by First Deputy Legal professional Normal Jennifer Levy.

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