This weeks episode is a rebroadcast of Mark’s interview with Dr. Monica Miller, a pro-life activist since 1976, who has been courageously arrested multiple times while advocating for the unborn. In this episode, Mark and Dr. Miller discuss her jail time from earlier this year, sidewalk counseling in 2023, and the current state of the pro-life activism.
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Mark Harrington (00:00):
We live in a strange time in history where there are buildings set up in cities where parents, women, mothers, take their children to be murdered. It’s bizarre. We’re going to be talking about that a little bit today on the program as well. I’m going to be talking to someone who spent time in jail because of their faith, and that was in the United States. It’s not some overseas third world Muslim country. It’s happening here in America. And we’ll talk to her today on the program. So stick around
Activist Radio, The Mark Harrington Show is brought to you by Created Equal, the pro-life organization that committed to taking abortion, victim photography and video to college and high school campuses and other venues all across North America. And you can find out more by going to createequal.org. The program can be found 24 7 on all the popular podcasting platforms. And you can follow me on social media, on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and all the other popular websites. So today we’re going to have an update from my good friend Dr. Monica Miller from Citizens for a Pro-Life Society. She’s out of jail. We’re going to talk about that a little bit. And she also published a piece in Crisis Magazine that caught my attention talking about sidewalk counseling. And I would assume that a lot of people listening to the sound of my voice or watching the program knows what that is. But we’re going to talk about what that is and how important it’s to pro-life movement. Dr. Monica Miller, thanks for being on the show.
Dr. Miller (01:53):
Yeah, thank you.
Mark Harrington (01:55):
So Monica, you just got out of jail. Let’s start there. When I talk about pro-lifers going to jail, most people think, oh, that’s the days of Operation Rescue. Three decades ago, what did you do to end up at jail?
Dr. Miller (02:15):
Well, I participated in a Red Rose rescue. We’ve had about 35 of these rescues since 2017. I wish I could say we’ve had 90, but okay, 35. And so I organized and participated in a Red Rose rescue at the Northland Family Planning Abortion Center in Southfield, Michigan. That would’ve been April of 2022. I was joined by five others, including Father Alia Mki and Matthew Connolly, Laura ge, Elizabeth Wge, Jacob Gregor. And we went into the waiting room. Well, actually only three of us went into the waiting room and three of us stayed in the hallway. This is an abortion center that’s on the second floor of a large building with a lot of other businesses surrounded by a very large, very deep parking lot, which makes sidewalk counseling very difficult, if not impossible. So to be able to go really close actually in the clinic, talk to the moms, offer them words of encouragement, give them all help, practical help, we offered them roses. Three of us stayed in the hallway, and we were able to talk to every mom getting off the elevator, walked down the hallway with them. So this is the last opportunity these women will ever have saying yes to life.
Mark Harrington (03:43):
So what makes this different, Monica, if I would, I want to make sure we understand the distinction between a traditional rescue, which we understand. If you’ve been following me and for life activism, my followers or whatever, the people listen to this program understand Operation Rescue in the days when we were blocking the entrances, this is a little different than that, isn’t it? Yeah,
Dr. Miller (04:06):
We don’t block anything. And so we have never been charged with the freedom of access to clinic, entrances, act. We are not there to simply protest abortion, and I don’t have a problem with that, of course. But we don’t block the doors. We’re there to reach out to these moms and do everything we can to persuade them in those last minutes before they walk down the hallway of death to kill their babies. If the moms don’t leave, at least some of the rescuers have to stay. That’s a very important spiritual practical component of a Red Rose rescue. We will not leave the abandoned unborn children who are literally about to be exterminated. We will abide with them. We will continue to witness to the sanctity of their lives. And that’s where the element of arrest possibly comes in because we tell the police why we’re there. We can’t leave. We’re not going to leave these innocent human beings to simply go to their depths without somebody to continue to witness to them. So we were indeed arrested. We were tried in February. We’re denied a defense of others because the unborn, at least in the state of Michigan and the post row landscape, are not recognized as others,
Mark Harrington (05:28):
Especially now with your constitutional amendment, whether it was passed,
Dr. Miller (05:33):
It’s a big mess and praying and hoping that Ohio will be spared what we went through here in Michigan. But in any case, here’s the thing, and I’m going to make this really short. So we were convicted in February. We had a great attorney, Robert Muse of the American Freedom Law Center. He did everything. In fact, he’s an amazing attorney. But without that defense, were arguing strictly on technicalities of what elements go into a trespass charge and so on and so forth. So we had our sentencing on March 30th. Now here’s the thing. We could have walked out of that courtroom in good conscience, even under probation, but this particular judge, Cynthia Arvan imposed one of the conditions of the probation was that we had to remain 500 feet from every single abortion center in the United States of America for a period 18 months. And not only did she impose it, but she required us to agree to it.
And there was no way we could do that in conscience. We had a similar bond probation restriction back in 2018, but that judge did not require an agreement. And then myself and Will Goodman and Matthew Connolly, we broke that probation condition and went to jail later on, let’s just say on our own schedule. But at this particular sentencing, we had no choice, and we were immediately a taken into custody from the sentencing. I had a 45 day sentence. Laura Geis had a 60 day sentence, and Matthew Connolly and Father, but two of them are still in jail with a 90 day sentence. So the difference in the sentences had to do with how many recent convictions did we have regarding Red Rose rescue? And since I still have a trial pending, and I had a not guilty verdict, actually, God be praised and thank you Robert Muse. I had the less of the convictions, so I had the lesser sentence and so on. It gets a little complicated that way. But Matthew Connolly will be out June 6th. Father fli, Christopher Mosinski will be out June 12th and everything is up on our website. You can still message them through the smart jail mail. You can write the letters and all that’s up on pro-life society.com, our website, all the information you need to talk to them, to message them, to write to them, and so on.
Mark Harrington (08:20):
My guest is Monica Miller, and she’s an author, pro-life activist, also written a book. Abandon.
Dr. Miller (08:27):
Yeah, here we go. Well,
Mark Harrington (08:30):
No, it’s interesting, Monica, if you look back in our history, I had not met you, but I read your book and then I called you and said, I think it is the best pro-life book in the sense that it recounts the days of Operation Rescue and some of the civil ed and so-called, and just the stories of valor and courage that are contained in the book or an inspiration and where an inspiration continue to be for me and others. And you can pick up that book if you go to their firstname.lastname@example.org. And folks, if you want to know more about Red Rose Rescue, there’s a website set up called Red rose rescue.com. That’s red rose rescue.com. Well, Monica, we’re glad you’re out of jail. But the reason I wanted to bring you on, not only because you’re out of jail, that’s important, but I want to talk about this piece you wrote in Crisis Magazine.
And what caught my eye was your reference to the Catchers in the Rye, the book written by JD Salinger, which I would assume most of my followers, listeners, viewers are familiar with. That’s what caught my eye. I want to read the portion that leads the story and it says, this is the main character Holden in the book talking about how he’s rescues children. I’ve come out, I have to come out from somewhere and catch down. He’s talking about the children. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the eye and all I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d like to be. I know it’s crazy. And when I read that, I thought, that’s me. That that’s you’s hundreds if not thousands of pro-life activists across the country who this is all they want to do. They want to save babies, and people think they’re crazy and they’re probably the most sane people in the world. And that’s why it’s not that the story is so cool. So let’s talk about the story. Let’s talk about the piece, if you would. Why did you play on the catchers in the Rye first of all?
Dr. Miller (10:56):
Well, actually, I used that quote part of that quote before one of my chapters in my book Abandoned. So I already had that idea. But Holden sees himself as standing towards the edge of a cliff. And what he has to do is he has to prevent the children from falling over the cliff in this field of rye. And so when you’re standing outside of an abortion clinic or you’re doing a rescue, or you’re outside of a clinic praying, or you’re holding a sign or being an activist on the street trying to reach out to people, that’s what we’re trying to do to prevent innocent children from falling off the cliff. The clip of abortion, the clips of legalized abortion, the clip of being unwanted. And
Mark Harrington (11:52):
So can I for a second? Because the other thing that, it’s interesting that you mentioned in this that what we’re seeing is unprecedented in human history. That is we have buildings set up businesses where women, mothers take their children to be killed almost in every major city in the United States. We’ve come to become familiar with it, unfortunately, but this is unprecedented in human history.
Dr. Miller (12:25):
We’re, and I note that at the beginning of the article that the first time in the history of the human race, there are actual places where innocent human beings are exterminated by their parents.
Mark Harrington (12:38):
I want that to sink in with our viewers and listeners. This is a time like none other.
Dr. Miller (12:47):
But here’s the other flip side, if you will. That means that we have an opportunity to save people from abortion. I mean, you could stand outside of these clinics and talk to the moms. And look, there’s no question that if out there reaching out to the moms, the babies have been safe, moms have been helped by now probably tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands since the beginning of legalized abortion. So you have the opportunity to do a very, very beautiful work of love, and you actually save someone from being put to death.
Mark Harrington (13:33):
You call it the backbone of the pro-life movement. That kind of struck me because you look at our movement and you see us, much of us involved in the political where it’s an issue, it’s a political issue that we debate, and there’s pro-life, apologetics, which we try to train people on how to argue for the unborn or the case for the unborn. All important, by the way, I’m not minimizing that, but you say it’s the backbone sidewalk counseling presence at abortion clinics. You call it the backbone of pro-life movement. Why do you refer to it that way?
Dr. Miller (14:13):
Because I think we’re in a social justice cause and we’re in a situation where literally every day over a thousand unborn children will be murdered with the sanction of law. And when you’re out, my point is we have to be there where the injustice is happening. This is not an idea. This is not a philosophical concept. This is real murder. And so it’s important for us to actually be at the place where the injustice is occurring. So that’s why I say,
Mark Harrington (15:04):
Right, and when I passed this on my staff and others, I made that case. I made the case that even I often get wrapped up in the day-to-day of running a ministry or training people to be pro-life apologists and so forth and so on. And we could actually lose sight of the very thing that we’re here to do, which is to rescue children,
Dr. Miller (15:28):
Right? I know that sidewalk counseling is very difficult. I’ve spent thousands of hours outside of abortion centers. God bless my husband. He’s the one now going out every week talking the most broken, needy women out of abortions in Detroit, Michigan. I’ve got lots of women that I continue to help. Literally, I am not exaggerating. Years after I talked them out of the abortion and the baby was born. In fact, it’s part of my article is how I had that meeting with Darius 37 years after I talked to mother out of the abortion that saved him. So that was,
Mark Harrington (16:15):
There’s two very, very cool stories in your article. Of course, your book is full of ’em. One is the one about Darius, but the other one also caught me. And that is the story of Lila,
Dr. Miller (16:30):
Mark Harrington (16:30):
You lost two, but you saved one. If you would just share that story for our
Dr. Miller (16:36):
Right. This had to be, this was, oh gosh, I got to remember, I’m going to forget the exact year it was, but it’s been a while. I tried to talk a woman out of an abortion. She was pregnant with twins. So at the time I didn’t know, and she didn’t know it either. I talked to her and I was hoping that we would meet up and have lunch or dinner or whatever. But she kept avoiding me for about four or five days, and I was really panicking. And I knew the day and I knew where she was scheduled to have her abortion. And this was, again, I kind of ironically at the Northland Family Planning Abortion Center where I just did this rescue last year and went to jail for 34 out of the 45 day. So I was not reaching Lila. And I knew from my experience, mark, that when the communication drives up, that the bad selling.
And so I was anticipating that she was going to go through with the abortion. I was not able to be there the morning of her appointment, though I did have a student of at the clinic to try and intercept Lila. But in any case, the night before her abortion, I got the idea to go to the building. I knew there was a bathroom, a public bathroom, if you will, down the hall from the abortion center. And this is right off of the elevator. So it’s possible that a mom scheduled for abortion would go into that women’s room and use it before she goes to the clinic. So I had these old pamphlets from Guadalupe Workers, which is my husband’s group, and I left them in that bathroom. I kind of stealthily put them in places where they wouldn’t be seen right away in case the abortion staff went in there and then they would’ve wound up in the trash.
But I put them in the stalls, and you could only see them if you were actually in the stall using the stall. And so that was my hope that maybe Lila would go in there, she’d see the pamphlet, and that would be a way that I would be able to continue to try to save her baby. Well, sad story. She did abort the baby. She aborted, she had the abortion, and she aborted twins. All of this was coming back to me from her coworker. So this is the way that I had gotten in touch with Lila to begin with. I was devastated. I truly was devastated. I tried so hard to reach her and to save her from getting an abortion. And then she winds up aborting twins, and then she aborts them on a Catholic holy day. I mean, for me, that was very significant, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. And I thought, oh my God, it can’t get any worse. But then about two days later, Edmond, my husband, Edmond walks in the living room and he says, Hey, we just got a phone call from some mom. The Guadalupe worker’s phone number was on the pamphlet that I left in the bathroom. And he said, some woman called us who was going to get an abortion, and now she’s made an appointment to see us. And so those pamphlets that were met for Lala saved another baby. So never give up.
Mark Harrington (20:05):
Never give up. Well, what I love about you is your persistence in the book Abandon is all kinds of stories like that. And even today, you are still exemplifying that type of courage and forbearance persistence that is so, it’s challenging for all of us, and that’s why I love you so much, Jamal. Monica, I appreciate you being on the program. Friends, go to the website, pro-life society.net. You can order the book Abandon if you’re interested in more stories like the ones that we talked about today in her piece in Crisis Magazine. And we’ll have the links in our descriptions of all our social media. Monica, thanks for being on. Thank you so much. God bless you, mark. So we’ll see you next time. God bless you. God bless America, and remember America to bless God.
You’ve been listening to Mark Harrington, your radio activist. For more information on how to make a difference for the cause of life, liberty and justice, go to createdequal.org. To follow mark, go to Mark Harrington show.com. Be sure to tune in next time for your marching orders in the Culture War.