The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars
By Monica Migliorino Miller
Saint Benedict Press, 2012
298 pages, $26.95
To order: www.saintbenedictpress.com
When Roe v. Wade was decided, I was 13. As I began reading about abortion, I was struck by four photos in Hilgers and Horan’s Abortion and Social Justice, depicting victims of the four types of abortion then used. These were little individual babies whose lives were ended in excruciating pain — and supposedly intelligent people called this a “right.”
40 years later, Monica Miller has written a hard-hitting, very personal account of her pro-life activism. Part biography, Miller, who has spent many years of prolife activism including photographing the remains of aborted babies, delves into the ugly underside of abortion. It’s a story that screams to be told.
Like what happens to the baby after abortion. In Chicago, dissected body parts — an arm, a leg, a piece of a head— could be fished out of trash containers behind a Michigan Avenue medical center. Another site in Northbrook, Ill., was used as a collection point to which nine very active abortion clinics shipped their “medical waste.”
Here’s how Miller describes the scene:
“I could see dozens and dozens of boxes strewn haphazardly about the dock. When we reached the loading dock, I knelt by a stack of boxes. Pulling back the flaps of one, I saw that it was filled to the top with the bodies of aborted babies. There were literally hundreds of them. Each box was similarly filled with fetal remains. I was struck by the realization that all of these fetal children had been alive only a few short days ago. Now they lay dead and abandoned, cut from their mothers’ wombs, cut from the human race: corpses of fetal bodies stacked on a loading dock inside an industrial park in boxes marked ‘for disposal.’”
In Milwaukee, some people thought they were more “humane”: The bodies were being cremated in a pet cemetery.
Miller writes about getting involved in a case where the American Civil Liberties Union was fighting for the “right” of a mother to substitute her judgment and compel her disabled daughter to abort her grandchild. As Miller describes it, nobody really seemed focused on saving this baby’s life, so she jumped the barriers and reached out to the family: “Five months [later], Peaches delivered a healthy, five-pound baby boy. As I gazed at the baby, I felt embedded in the hand of God. The tiny newborn was enveloped in peaceful sleep — unaware that the world had judged he should never have been born.”
Miller also describes her involvement in rescue operations, her blockade of abortion clinics and her months in jail for that activism.
One might question some of the things Miller did, like her sit-ins. Some people might think her rummaging through abortion business “trash” weird, if not revolting. But the corporal works of mercy include burying the dead, and perhaps in our day that means those who are not even deemed persons. Consider that when Milwaukee pro-life activists organized a collective burial for the bodies of retrieved babies — enough to fill six coffins — a bystander “asked one of the police escorts, ‘Who died?’ The policeman shook his head and answered, ‘No one.’”
Miller tells ugly truths the world does not want to hear. The graphic nature of the slaughter of the innocents Miller describes is not for the squeamish. But while this book may not be for everyone, it is important because it reveals that which many vested interests, powerful politicians and the media prefer hiding. Because this boil is festering in American culture, society, law and politics. Because they are not numbers, but persons. Because, in the past 40 years, more than 56 million are dead.
John M. Grondelski writes from
Perth Amboy, New Jersey.