The author of this article is a convicted criminal. I was lured into a “life of crime” beginning in 1978 by someone who himself was once charged with federal racketeering. I have been called by judges “a dangerous person from whom society needs to be protected,” a “recidivist,” and, most recently, by the Attorney General of New York, even a “terrorist.” I have spent time in jail for my “crimes.”

Just last month I concluded a 45-day jail term at the Oakland County Jail in Pontiac, Michigan, out of which I served thirty-four days. On March 31st, I was booked into cellblock F1. One of the first things I wanted to do, which is the case with most inmates, was make “contact” with the “outside world.” So, I took a seat in a line of chairs to make a phone call on one of four phones available for sixty-four prisoners.

“Fresh” prisoners usually attract attention, and I was no exception — except for the kind of scrutiny to which I was “subjected.” A black, heavyset inmate came up to me accompanied by two others and said: “You just don’t look like someone who gets into much trouble. Whatcha in here for anyway?”

I hadn’t been in the cellblock yet 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. “Well, 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 unborn 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 a similar reaction. “You’re in here for that? Why is that a crime?” And: “That’s ridiculous!” One inmate asked: “And how much jail time did you get for that?” I responded: “Forty-five days.” “Wow,” said one inmate, “You got more time than I got — and I’m here…well, never mind that!”

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 would be the beginning of my thirty-four-day witness to the sanctity of life in the Oakland County Jail.

I was not alone. Fellow pro-lifer Laura Gies had been arrested with me and thankfully also booked into cellblock F1. On April 23, 2022, we had participated in a Red Rose Rescue with four others: Elizabeth Wagi, Matthew Connolly, Jacob Gregor, and Fr. Fidelis Moscinski of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. At the same time we were in jail, John Hinshaw was sentenced to a thirty-day term in New York for a Red Rose Rescue he did in Long Island.

Our Michigan rescue occurred at Northland Family Planning, located in Southfield, Michigan—where the unborn are killed through the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy. Red Rose Rescuers enter the abortion facility to talk with the women already seated in the waiting room. We seek to persuade them to give life to their children, giving them a final opportunity to choose life, offering words of encouragement, practical material assistance, pamphlets about abortion, and, of course, red roses. Attached to each rose is a card with phone numbers of local pregnancy help centers and more words of encouragement.

If any women are still intent on killing their children, at least some of the rescuers stay with the unborn—soon to be victims of abortion. Red Rose Rescuers remain with the unwanted — continuing to plead for their lives and continuing for as long as they can to witness to the sanctity of the lives of these outcast, abandoned human beings. The rescuers cannot just leave the unwanted; they have to be taken away….

Story by Monica Miller from Crisis.