Red Rose Rescue Father Stephen Speaks of His Time in Jail!

These are some of the atrocities abortionist Stephen Brigham has committed in a long career that brutally ended the lives of — in his own estimation – more than 40,000 preborn children:

  • Illegally performed abortions in multiple states.
  • Stored 35 frozen fetuses at one of his unlicensed killing centers in Maryland.
  • Drove a mother to a hospital, rather than calling an ambulance, after perforating her uterus.
  • Continued an abortion even after perforating another mother’s uterus.
  • Allowed a mother to bleed for three hours following a late-term abortion before calling an ambulance.
  • Began late-term abortions at an unlicensed clinic in New Jersey, then directed the mothers to report to another unlicensed clinic in Maryland to complete the abortion.

Brigham has been charged with crimes, including murder, but never convicted.

This is what Father Stephen Imbarrato did:

  • Entered a D.C. abortion mill owned by Brigham to present moms in the waiting room with a red rose, and ask them to choose life for their babies.

Father Stephen, a priest associate with Priests for Life, was charged and convicted, and spent almost a week in jail for his actions. He says he would do it again, and again, and again.

“This is something I have formed in my conscience for decades,” he said. “I will do it again. I’m going to do it again. I told the judge I would do it again. When abortion mills are closed and women can’t get to their appointments, babies’ lives are saved. That’s a fact.”

Father Stephen’s time inside the D.C. Detention Center – or DCDC – wasn’t hard time and in some ways, it was time well spent. He was able to counsel 24-year-old James, one of three cellmates he would have over the week, about needing to get back to Jesus to make him a better father to his two children.

For another cellmate, Santana, he was able to get in touch with the young man’s father once he himself had been released. He also contacted a family member for another inmate, and put money in the commissary accounts for another four men, so that they would be able to make phone calls.

“The biggest problem that I could see was that inmates have a lot of trouble contacting the outside world,” Father Stephen said. “I talked to a lot of people. I focused on the guys who seemed to be struggling.”

Because his sentence was so short, he never made it past the “intake” area, where inmates are assessed and then sent to minimum, medium or maximum security blocks. He spent 23 hours each day in his 12-by-eight-foot cell, which included two stainless steel bed frames topped with mattresses with built-in headrests, and covered by sheets and one coarse blanket. Another stainless steel structure housed a sink and toilet. Privacy was minimal.

Inmates were always coming and going and the noise level could get high. Huge fans helped drown out the cacophony.

He was allowed out of the cell for one hour per day, to shower, exercise or make phone calls. He received a few visitors, but unlike the way prison visits are portrayed on television, he and his visitors were actually in separate rooms, looking at each other on a monitor.

The day before his release was the first time he saw the sky.

“One of my visitors was sitting in a room with a big window, and I could see the sky behind her on the screen,” he said. “It was like our Lord was giving me an inkling that I’d be released the next day.”

The food was the worst part of his incarceration. Breakfast was served between 3 and 4 a.m.; lunch came at 11 a.m. and dinner between 6 and 7 p.m. There were no plates, just molded plastic trays with compartments, each heaped with something unpalatable.

“The food was inedible, it was almost like an appetite suppressant,” he said. But mealtime was useful in one way: It was the only indication of the time of day.

“The COs – correction officers – most of the time won’t tell you what time it is,” he said.

Each inmate was given a book of puzzles to while away the hours. Father Stephen gave his away, but only after he used the blank inside cover to fashion a cross. He tore a strip off a plastic bag he was given to hold his second set of prison-issued clothes – including an orange jumpsuit – and made a one-decade rosary. A social worker offered him two Protestant devotionals and he took them both. A previous resident of his cell had left behind printed notes on the Gospel of John.

“My two basic meditations were on the crucified Christ and the crucified babies,” he said. “I had no Bible, no breviary and I wasn’t able to say Mass. But our Lord took care of me the entire time.”

His arrest in D.C. was his second. During the first Red Rose Rescue – carried out in several cities – he was arrested in an abortion mill located inside an apartment building in Alexandria, VA. He was fined $500 but the sentence was suspended if he stays out of trouble in the judge’s jurisdiction until November.

Father Stephen could have been sentenced to probation or assessed a fine in the D.C. case, but he refused both. Other Red Rose Rescuers have also served time; some of those arrested at a Michigan abortion mill were given 45-day sentences.

The Red Rose Rescues are inspired by a Canadian woman, Mary Wagner, who has served nearly five years in jail for entering abortion mills to try to save babies and their mothers

Father Stephen is aware that some pro-lifers oppose this type of activism, fearing it might increase the trauma for women who have had abortions.

“I understand the concerns,” he said. “I started two pregnancy centers. I’ve done sidewalk counseling since the late 1990s and counseled hundreds, if not thousands of women. I get it. I’m post-abortive myself.”

Long before he ever discerned a call to the priesthood, his girlfriend got pregnant and had an abortion, with Father Stephen’s acquiescence. Years later, he learned the abortion had taken the lives of twins, whom he has since named Mary and Thomas.

The Red Rose Rescues offer him a chance to fulfill a promise he made decades ago.

“I committed to Jesus that I would do anything , risk anything, to try to save babies,” he said. “I am keeping that promise.”

His time inside taught him one valuable lesson that he’d like to pass on:

“Unless you made a lot of noise, unless you were a nuisance, you were ignored. That’s a lesson for all of us in pro-life.”