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Criminals for the Gospel of Life

By Monica Migliorino Miller

I am a convicted criminal and have spent time in jail. I was lured into this “life of crime” in 1978. Since then, judges have called me “a dangerous person from whom society needs to be protected” and a “recidivist.” I have even been called a “terrorist.” Most recently I served 34 days at the Oakland County Jail in Pontiac, Michigan.

On March 31, 2023, I was booked into cellblock F1. “Fresh” prisoners usually attract attention, and I was no exception. A black, heavyset inmate approached me accompanied by two others and said: “You just don’t look like someone who gets into much trouble. What ‘cha in here for anyway?”

I hadn’t yet been in the cellblock one hour and already fellow prisoners were curious as to why I shared their fate. I was somewhat trepid regarding how I would be treated once inmates knew about my “crime.” Nonetheless, I told them: “I was arrested when I tried to talk women out of abortion at an abortion center and provide a witness to the humanity of their preborn children. When the police came, I told them I couldn’t leave because human lives were at stake.”

“What! You gotta be kiddin’!” was the reaction of the inmate who had asked the question. By now, a tiny crowd of other women surrounded me—all with similar reactions. “You’re in here for that? Why is that a crime?” And: “That’s ridiculous!”

The initial shock regarding my “crime” was immediately followed by an intense discussion about abortion itself. I was interrogated as to whether I believed there were any instances in which I thought abortion was justified. One slender black woman asked: “Hey, come on, what about a thirteen-year-old who’s raped?” My explanation of why even a baby conceived in rape possessed a right to life began my 34-day witness to the sanctity of life.

I was not alone. Fellow pro-lifer Laura Gies had been arrested with me and also booked into cellblock F1.

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