Jailed pro-life rescuer finds ‘blessings’ in 33 days behind bars
WEST BLOOMFIELD, Michigan, July 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Monica Migliorino Miller got out of jail after 33 days convinced — not that she’d ever doubted — that the fledgling Red Rose Rescue movement is bearing good fruit.
Nor did a granite-hard bed, incessant noise, only two hours outdoors in 33 days, and the bleakness of Oakland County Jail — where women bunk two to a cell on a pod housing 64 — deter the 65-year-old, well-known American pro-life advocate, theology professor and author.
“I fully expect that I will be back handing out roses to moms in waiting rooms at abortion clinics certainly in the future, and hopefully there will be many others,” Miller told LifeSiteNews.
“Honestly, the fruits of that December 2 rescue from last year have been numerous. It’s almost like where do I even begin to describe (them),” she added.
“God has been good.”
12 women no-shows day of rescue
Miller and four others were arrested last December at the Women’s Center of Michigan run by abortionist Jacob Kalo in West Bloomfield, Michigan, while attempting to persuade mothers to choose life for their unborn children.
Indeed, one woman left the abortion center after Miller, Will Goodman, Robert “Doc” Kovaly, Patrice Woodworth and Matthew Connelly entered the waiting room with red roses and offers of help, and stayed there until police dragged them off.
Moreover, abortion center manager Pamela DiMaggio testified at a June 29 “restitution hearing” that 12 women were “no shows” the day of the rescue.
The abortion center asked that the pro-lifers reimburse it more than $5,000 for “lost revenue” and $1,500 for attorney’s fees, according to American Freedom Law Center’s Robert Muise, a lawyer for the Michigan Red Rose Rescuers.
Judge Marc Barron of the 48th District Court denied the claim.
‘Unjust’ probation order
That’s not all the good news, Miller told LifeSiteNews.
A six-person jury convicted the five after about a half hour of deliberations in February, and Barron sentenced them in March to a $500 fine each, eight days of community service, and a year’s reporting probation banning them from contacting each other and from being within 500 feet of any abortion center in the United States.
That was too much for Miller and Goodman, who violated what they said was an unjust order June 1 by witnessing outside Kalo’s abortion center.
Before she was arrested that day, Miller persuaded a woman, Yolanda, not to go through with abortion.
On June 14, Barron vacated the probation order and sentenced Miller and Goodman to 45 days in jail.
Connelly, who is an itinerate pro-life missionary like Goodman, was also sentenced to 45 days on June 29, after admitting to Barron he violated his probation.
‘Jail has its blessings’
Miller, the executive director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, has been involved in pro-life advocacy since 1976 and is no stranger to rescue.
An associate professor of theology at Michigan’s Madonna University, Miller has penned among her numerous books the 2016 I Was A Stranger: Meditations on the Innocent Unborn-Lost to Abortion, and the 2012 Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars.
In the latter, she articulates the premise of “rescue” — a peaceful intervention that seeks sacrificially to deflect the violence of abortion onto oneself by standing between the mother and her unborn child, and the abortionist.
Going through the courts allows rescuers to “witness to the judge, to the jurors, to the media, to the pro-life community,” Miller noted.
She received 150 letters of support during her month in jail, many saying “your example has held me do more, it inspired me to do more.”
However, during her previous stints in jail, Miller was granted work and child care release, and this is first time she has served “straight” time, she told LifeSiteNews.
“I never felt afraid really, no, I didn’t, maybe partly because it’s not my first time, and I kind of knew what to expect in certain respects, and I was committed,” she said.
“Jail has its blessings,” added Miller. “You’re there to give good example to the other women, you’re there to show compassion and understanding to them.”
“The women in jail were very good to me, very kind, very pro-life. There was hardly anybody there who didn’t support why I was there,” she said.
‘I’ll be praying for you’
Indeed, one woman sought Miller out to tell her she wanted an abortion two years ago and made several appointments at different abortion centers over six weeks but cancelled them all when she saw protestors outside, Miller related.
The woman finally resolved to go to Summit Medical Center in Detroit.
But when she got there, a man standing outside began to talk to her. The woman became angry and told the man “I was raped by a white guy, that’s why I’m here.”
He responded by giving her a packet of pro-life literature that included a rosary and telling her, “I’m going to be praying for you,” Miller recounted.
“So she took the packet, she goes in the clinic, she’s sitting in the waiting room and she’s thinking about what he said to her, ‘I will be praying for you.’ So she decided, ‘there’s no way I can get this abortion with this guy praying for me,’ so she came out!”
“I know exactly who that guy is,” Miller added, “It’s Emmanuel Ibirham. That’s exactly what he does. … So he saved a baby from abortion, and I’m in jail with this woman.”
The Red Rose Rescues are so named because they take their inspiration from Canadian Mary Wagner, who has spent almost five years in jail for her peaceful efforts to save women and children from the violence of abortion.
Wagner is currently in jail in Toronto for mischief and breach of probation and will be released September 9. Her address is Vanier Centre for Women, 655 Martin St, Milton, ON L9T 5E6.
Connelly will be released from Oakland County Jail on August 3. His prison number is 423593, and his cell number is N2-25. For details on writing to him, click here.
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