GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two people were arrested and three others were issued citations after complaints of trespassing and harassment during a protest at the Heritage Clinic for Women Wednesday, police say.
The protest was organized by Citizens of a Pro-Life Society, which planned to enter the clinic and talk to women who were scheduled for abortions in defense of unborn children.
The group says the protest was a “Red Rose Rescue,” the fourth in Michigan, and red roses would be given to women as they exited their cars.
A note would be attached to the rose that said:
“You were made to love and to be loved… your goodness is greater than the difficulties of your situation. Circumstances in life change. A new life, however tiny, brings the promise of unrepeatable joy.”
The group said in a release that it would refuse to leave the property when law enforcement instructed them to.
“If during a pandemic abortion clinic staff can show up to kill the unborn, if the abortionist can show up to kill the unborn, certainly pro-lifers can show up to defend them,” said Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society.
The Grand Rapids Police Department says when they arrived, they advised the legal way to protest and practice free speech.
Sgt. Dan Adams with GRPD said after officers repeatedly tried to instruct and warn protesters not to enter the facility if they weren’t welcomed, three people were ticketed for trespassing.
Despite the warning, police say two more people went into the building and yelled at employees and others inside before they were arrested and taken to the Kent County Jail. However, an organizer with the protest says no one entered the building.
“The GRPD remains dedicated to upholding the law, including those provided under the First Amendment. But the Amendment applies to all and it is the department’s job to uphold the peace and safety of everyone in Grand Rapids,” Adams said.