By Matt C. Abbott
September 19, 2021
In addition to what recently occurred in Texas, there are pro-life victories to report in Florida and in Michigan. They won’t get the massive media attention that Texas has received, but they’re significant victories nonetheless.
According to a news release (lightly edited by me) from Tom Ciesielka, spokesman for the Thomas More Society:
A notorious abortionist in Port Charlotte, Fla., has permanently closed his abortion venue, following a yearlong investigation led by Reprotection, Inc., a national women’s watchdog organization that works to shut down dangerous abortion providers.
Together with Thomas More Society attorneys and concerned Florida citizens, Reprotection brought multiple complaints against abortionist Ali Azima and his Venice Women's Health Center to the attention of the Florida Department of Health.
After receiving reports from eyewitnesses in Port Charlotte about Azima’s repeated endangerment of patients, Reprotection’s investigation verified the abortionist’s history of medical negligence, previous medical license suspension, and lack of a license to legally operate his abortion business.
‘We are so glad that Ali Azima has retired and stopped harming women and killing children in Florida,’ said Missy Stone, senior analyst at Reprotection. ‘With one more abortion business shut down, lives will be saved and women’s health will no longer be endangered. Reprotection will continue to investigate dangerous doctors and abortion businesses nationwide and hold them accountable.’
Matt Heffron, senior counsel of the Thomas More Society, said, ‘It is cases like this one that makes the work of Reprotection so important. I assume Azima shut his shop at least in part because Reprotection kept documenting his atrocious failures.
‘But this highlights a question that must be answered: Why do so many governmental units avoid their duties to regulate abortion facilities? If Azima had been in any other business, you can be assured there would have been swift action to protect the public. The fact that he was still in business after so many complaints and verified violations is astounding.’….
Reprotection launched its investigation into Azima when witnesses observed a woman in physical distress running out of Venice Women's Health Center partially undressed with blood running down her legs. Pro-life advocates present outside of the abortion venue found out that she had been in the middle of an abortion and assisted her in obtaining emergency medical help.
In collaboration with local life advocates, the Reprotection team filed several complaints with the Florida Department of Health's Division of Medical Quality Assurance and Division of Health Quality Assurance, the state’s elected officials and the governor's office, alerting them that Azima was a grave threat to the health and safety of Florida women.
Prompted by Reprotection’s complaints, the Florida Department of Health opened an investigation. Shortly thereafter, Azima announced that he was closing his abortion venue on September 3, 2021.
Let’s pray that abortionist Ali Azima is open to God’s grace and will eventually experience a conversion of heart.
And in Michigan…
According to a news release (lightly edited by me) from Monica Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society:
On Sept. 17, four Red Rose Rescuers were found not guilty of criminal trespass by a six-person jury. They were tried before Judge Jennifer Faber in the 61st District Court in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The trespassing charge was the result of a May 13, 2020 Red Rose Rescue conducted by Monica Miller, Heather Idoni, Ann Norton and Robert Kovaly on the parking lot of the Heritage Women’s Clinic abortion center in Grand Rapids, owned by notorious abortionist Thomas Gordon.
We managed to prevail even though we were denied a ‘defense of others’—sometimes referred to as a ‘defense of necessity,’ denied because according to the law, the unborn basically don’t exist. The prosecutor kept reminding the jury ‘this case is not about abortion.’ Of course, when we testified we made sure the jury knew that we conducted the Red Rose Rescue to help moms and save babies from abortion.
In a nutshell, the prosecutor failed to prove the necessary elements of the trespassing statute. The law under which we were charged requires that the ‘owner, occupant or agent’ of the property warn the subjects that they are trespassing on private property and must leave.
The woman who runs the Heritage clinic, Kelly Brinks, took the stand and testified that she had told each of us to leave the property. But when I took the stand I was able to refute those lies. Brinks never spoke to any of us about leaving the clinic property. The clinic had exterior surveillance cameras but she failed to produce them to back up her testimony.
In the end, the jurors just didn’t believe her. In addition, the police officers who testified against us also stated that they had given us warnings. We were also able to prove by videos that they had not—and in any case, according to the law, they are not a substitute for the ‘owner, occupant, agent’ of the property.
The jury deliberated for about two hours and came back with not guilty. What beautiful words to hear! And indeed, during this May 13, 2020 Red Rose Rescue, a couple did leave the parking lot after they had been counseled.
God bless the work of veteran pro-life activist Monica Miller and her associates!
© Matt C. Abbott