The Third Day Before Christmas: Agonies of a Passionate Commitment to Life

“I’m not afraid of death.

I am afraid of murder.”

—Henry Caul in The Conversation

When I walked into Gesu Church, an old man was quietly reciting his Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament. The church was dark. Up near the sanctuary I could see the soft red flickering of the vigil lights giving off that warm comforting glow. It was two o’clock, Tuesday, December 22—the third day before Christmas. I had come to Gesu to pray. Soon I would be standing outside an abortion center trying to talk women out of killing their preborn children. As I sat in the pew before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, I was struck with that awful ache of nervousness that comes over me whenever I am about to talk women out of abortion. On my knees before the Sacrament I prayed, “My Jesus, we’re going to celebrate your birthday soon. Today I’m going sidewalk counseling. My Jesus, let this be my birthday gift to you. You know, Lord—if it pleases you, perhaps you would give me a present, too. I ask, Jesus, that you let me talk a woman out of an abortion today. Please let this be your Christmas present to me.”

A half hour later I stood alone in front of a large office building that housed the Affiliated Medical Services, an abortion center in downtown Milwaukee. On that cold December afternoon God answered my prayer. He gave me the gift I had asked for. I succeeded in convincing an unmarried couple, Anton and Marie, not to kill their unborn child. He was a tall, young black man, 21 years old. Marie was a white girl, age 19. Like so many couples I have talked to outside of abortion centers, Anton and Marie said the major reason they wanted an abortion was the financial burden connected with having a baby. Marie had just given birth to a child a mere five months before. His name was “little” Anton. The child was being cared for by Janette, Anton’s mother. Anton stated that his mother was quite willing to help raise the second baby as well. For some reason Marie was not able to care for “little” Anton, but she seemed embarrassed to tell me why.

As a sidewalk counselor I knew that this was not a problem I could solve right then and there. The first priority was to convince this black man and his white girlfriend not to kill the baby we could not see. Marie did not work and neither was she on welfare. Anton was a security guard making about $500 a month and living with his grandmother. Marie told me she was 12 weeks pregnant. I showed her and Anton pictures of a preborn child at that stage and also a photo of a fetal child at 10 weeks crushed by abortion. When Marie glanced at the broken limbs her eyes quickly shifted to the ground to avoid the awful sight.

“You know abortion is murder,” I said plaintively. “Please, let me help you. I’m the director of Citizens for Life. We have funds to help people like you. Lack of money is no reason to kill a baby. You know Christmas is coming in three days. If you’re going to celebrate the birth of Jesus, how can you even think of killing your own child?”

I asked Marie if she believed in God. She replied, “Yes, I’m a Catholic.”

Anton and Marie listened to my words and so this third day before Christmas their baby was saved from abortion. Anton had with him $165 in cash—the exact amount of the abortionist’s fee. The three of us walked the short half block to the Grand Avenue Mall, a shopping center in downtown Milwaukee. We walked from store to store amid the happy, bustling shoppers, bright lights, and Christmas decor. Anton and Marie immersed themselves in the joy of buying presents. I accompanied them as Anton dispersed his money throughout the mall, purchasing gifts for his mother, brothers, and sisters. This same money less than one hour before would have been used by him to purchase the death of his unborn child.

When one tries to talk a person out of performing an evil, one is immediately confronted by the mystery of the human will. Since 1978 sidewalk counseling has been part of my regular prolife apostolate. Countless women and men have told me mere seconds before they entered the abortion center that they knew what they were about to do was unjustly kill another human being. And yet they would do it anyway—the boyfriend with a pained expression on his face and the girl on the verge of tears. St. Augustine understood that free will without grace was not really free. At abortion centers I would witness the drama of grace acted out by every couple who turned away from death in those last moments. I have seen miracles of grace. Actual conversions have occurred on the sidewalks outside the gates of hell. In our talking to women I have seen them go from sadness, fear, and resentment about their unborn child to a state of calm, peace, acceptance, and joy—joy that they had been saved from murdering their child.

There were times when a woman would enter the abortion center refusing my help and my words, but then unexpectedly emerge sometime later while I was still on the street to witness her change of heart. Such a woman, I would think, was utterly lost in the labyrinth of lies and killing, only to walk out with herself and child still intact. Such a woman had just come back from the dead.

In July 1987 another baby had been saved from abortion through my efforts and those of another sidewalk counselor. The child was the first born of Li Chin and Ghi, a married couple from mainland China studying in the States. Throughout the pregnancy we kept in frequent contact with them. On the day they were stopped outside of the abortion center Li Chin, the child’s mother, hugged me. She and her husband thanked us for saving their baby.

Li Chin and Ghi had no religion and no faith in God. Certainly, many baptized Christians passed us by that day and entered the abortion center, but it was this couple from an atheist land who listened and did not kill their child. Li and Ghi’s baby was due to be born at the end of January.

On Christmas day I talked to Anton. I wanted especially to call him on the day Christ was born so I could remind Anton of the special graces God would grant to him regarding his unborn child. Anton told me he was afraid—afraid of what lay ahead even though he was happy they did not have the abortion. “You don’t know what we had to go through with the first baby,” he said.

I talked with Anton for several minutes and repeated to him all that I had said to him and Marie when we first met on the street. I assured him all would be well and counseled him to start living one day at a time. “Here it is Anton, Christmas day. Think of Jesus. Pray to him tonight. Trust God. He is taking care of you.”

When I got off the phone a burden of concern began to weigh down upon me. Anton’s fears caused me to wonder if he was entirely settled about the baby. I went to the kitchen of my parent’s home where my brother was seated at the table reading. I stood there preoccupied with the conversation I just had with Anton. My brother asked me what was the matter.

“Well Marc, I turned a couple away from abortion three days ago. Before I went to the clinic I prayed that God would let me save a baby as his own Christmas gift to me. And so He did give me this gift. But now I don’t know. God just better not let this baby die!”

As soon as I returned to Milwaukee I visited Marie.

She lived in a rundown apartment building with Anton’s cousin Bernice and her two-year-old son born out-of-wedlock. Bernice answered the door sleepyeyed. She was dressed in a bathrobe even though it was one o’clock in the afternoon. The apartment was absolutely barren of furniture except for a waterbed in the bedroom and a stained and filthy queen-size mattress on the living room floor upon which Marie was huddled in a fetal position beneath an equally stained and dirty sheet.

I greeted Marie who slowly began to shake herself from sleep. She was happy to see me, though a bit embarrassed at still being found in bed. As I came to know this young woman better, she seemed completely devoid of any goals in life except to be with Anton. Marie seemed to possess low intelligence and low self-esteem. She told me she had been severely abused as a child and even within the last year she had been raped by her stepfather. Her lack of confidence showed itself in her timid and reticent demeanor and she almost always looked unkept and disheveled. She was a person who had grown emotionally fragile with repeated hurt in her life. I knew the last thing Marie needed was the added low self-esteem and guilt the abortion of her child would surely bring to her.

My friend Edmund Miller, a Milwaukee prolife activist, helped me in caring for Anton, Marie, and their unborn baby. At first we did small things for them simply to show that our concern was genuine. We bought “little” Anton a high chair and a car seat. I bought food for Marie and took her out to eat often. I took her to see a prolife gynecologist to provide her with her first prenatal check-up. I drove Anton and Marie to the Social Services office so that she could apply for public assistance.

In the second week of January, I made an appointment for Marie to be interviewed at the Sacred Heart Home for Mothers to Be. This was a small Catholic residence operated by a married couple, Jerry and Frances. The home was specifically designed as a shelter for pregnant women with financial or personal difficulties. Even if Marie lived at the home for a couple of months, the structured life and Frances’s kind Christian guidance would help Marie prepare for the birth of her child. Both Anton and Marie were surprised and delighted to see what a clean, bright, comfortable, and homey place it was. The home was a palace compared to where Marie was staying now. A very nominal rent was required from the residents, but Frances decided Marie could live there for the full term of her pregnancy at no charge. Frances knew the child Marie carried had almost been aborted and she wanted to do her part to help this couple.

The rules of the home were explained to Anton and Marie. The girls had to be in by midnight and no overnight passes were issued permitting the girls to stay overnight with their boyfriends. Marie was content to stay at the home, but Anton was hesitant. After some persuading he agreed to allow Marie to live at the home for two months. I then said to Anton with a smile, “Why don’t the two of you get married?” Anton replied with a giddy laugh and a shifting of his body on the chair he was sitting on. The thought delighted him and made him nervous at the same time.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Marriage—that’s a big step—that’s something else. Maybe I will, but I’d be real nervous standin’ up in front of all those people in a church.”

Two days later Anton told me he did not want Marie to stay at the home.

“Okay, what’s wrong?” I asked, disappointed that Marie would not get the care and attention she needed.

“Because I’m getting an apartment or my mother’s house. Marie is going to live with me. I’ve been working on this for a long time.”

“Well, in the meantime the home would help Marie prepare for the baby.”

Anton’s voice was full of annoyance: “There are too many rules! Like Marie and me were kids or somethin’. We’re used to our freedom. I can come and go with her where she’s at now and we can stay out together without having to worry about no curfew.”

I decided it would not be a good idea to pressure Anton about the home. It was obviously something he did not want and I could not force it on him. Perhaps Marie also felt she would not feel comfortable there.

The fact that Marie’s first baby was being cared for by Anton’s mother struck a wound in Anton’s pride. If Marie moved into the Sacred Heart Home this would have been a further reminder to him that he was unable to care for her as well. In addition, the home was a threat to their relationship. Marie would be cared for by others, and Anton was fearful that she would no longer be solely dependent on him.

As a young man Anton felt overwhelmed by his own world in which personal relationships and monetary burdens were beyond his power to control. The first baby came “unplanned” and “unwanted” and was not even in the care of the child’s own mother. Now there was a second baby intruding upon his life and calling him to be responsible.

Neither Anton nor Marie could even begin to understand that the whole sphere of their lives was out of control because their sexual lives had no order. They are casualties of the sexual revolution, which dissolved any intrinsic moral connection between sexual intercourse and marriage or between intercourse and the procreation of children. A world without objective moral order and values rooted in the dignity of men and women finds order only despotically with mechanisms and technology, which only crushes what is human. Anton and Marie, along with those millions of others, sought to kill their unborn child to achieve control in a disordered world. Ironically, Marie was on the Pill when she conceived her second baby.

My next step was to have Marie accepted into a low-cost obstetrical program at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Her entire prenatal care and delivery would amount to a mere $1200. I told Anton that Citizens for Life would pay at least half the bill. For three days, however, I was unable to reach either Anton or Marie. No matter how many times I went to Bernice’s apartment, Marie was never there.

On Friday, January 15 at 10:30 P.M. Edmund Miller and I took the five minute drive to Bernice’s apartment. We hoped at this late hour Marie would at last be home. Bernice answered the door, again in her familiar bathrobe and slippers. She informed us that Marie was not at home and she did not know where she was. I asked Bernice if Anton and Marie read the literature I had left for them several days earlier. The material was titled “the Chicago Holocaust” and told the story of how Edmund and I, with a group of Chicago prolifers, retrieved the bodies of 500 aborted babies from a trash dumpster behind a Michigan Avenue abortion center in 1987. The literature contained some very graphic photos of the fetal babies mutilated and broken by abortion. I had hoped the photos would reconfirm Anton and Marie’s Christmas decision not to do such violence to their own child.

Bernice said they had seen the literature and so had she. “I had an abortion,” she said suddenly. “At that clinic Bread and Roses two years ago. I regret doing it. I told Marie she shouldn’t get no abortion. I told her she’ll regret it like I did.”

Edmund and I talked with Bernice for several minutes. Finally, we turned to go. I made a step towards the front door, but Edmund said that we should go out the back way. As soon as we exited the building we saw Anton and Marie seated in his grandmother’s car at the rear of the building. I was overjoyed to have found them. Marie immediately put her right hand over her face in a gesture of embarrassment. Edmund and I began to realize that Anton and Marie had actually been parked behind the building for some time in an attempt not to be seen by us. They recognized my car, knew we were in the building, and were waiting for us to depart before they would come in.

“Anton, Marie—I know something’s wrong. What is the matter?” I asked.

Anton shifted his feet nervously. His eyes avoided direct contact with mine. There was a long moment of silence in which he and Marie exchanged glances. Finally he said, “We’re having our doubts.”

I counseled Anton and Marie as though it were that third day before Christmas all over again. I fought with all my mental strength and depth of heart to reassure this couple that all would be well.

“Abortion is murder, Anton. There are some acts that are so evil that no matter what the circumstances they cannot be done. You must fight—the two of you must fight for the life of this baby. You know you’re not alone. We are here helping you. But you, Anton, you must start acting like a father and fight for your children. Don’t throw this baby away.”

“I’m afraid to have this baby,” Marie said. “I’m afraid I’ll abuse him the way I was abused. I almost hit ‘little’ Anton. That’s why I ain’t carin’ for him.”

“Look at what you’re saying,” Edmund said, anxious to point out the obvious. “You don’t want to abuse the child, so instead you’ll just kill him. Anton, to kill this baby means literally to tear him limb from limb. How can you do such a thing to your baby, especially when there’s people all around you who love you and want to help. Your own mother said she’d take the child, so why must he die?”

Marie acknowledged that deep inside her heart she wanted the baby. She cast her eyes towards Anton, seeking his confirmation. Finally, he agreed that Monday we could take Marie to St. Joseph’s and have her interviewed for the obstetrical program.

As Edmund and I drove home that night I was in a state of amazement how God had guided us to exit through the back door of the apartment building instead of through the front. In this small, seemingly insignificant decision Providence gave us the chance to save the baby again.

On Monday morning Edmund went to take Marie to St. Joseph’s. She was unable to go, however, because she had to stay home and babysit Bernice’s son. I was unhappy that the appointment had to be delayed. Marie was nearly four months pregnant, and she had not yet received any regular prenatal care. However, the delay would give Anton an opportunity to accompany Marie when the appointment was rescheduled. I believed the more personally Anton was involved in the care of his child, the less tempted he would be towards abortion.

On Tuesday evening, January 19, I visited Edmund at his apartment and suggested that he call Anton and ask him when he was free to go to St. Joseph’s. I sat relaxed, sipping coffee and petting Edmund’s cat. I could overhear Edmund on the phone with Anton.

“Anton, what do you mean you’ve made a decision?” Edmund’s voice was distressed. I knew something was wrong. “Look, if you don’t want the baby, someone else does. Why don’t you start thinking about adoption?”

I had already spoken to Anton about adoption and knew what his answer would be. Edmund was growing more frustrated and anxious.

“Anton, that is not true. Children who are adopted are loved and cared for. They’re not abused. Where do you get such ideas?”

I threw the cat off my lap, put down the coffee cup, and started to pray. Edmund reiterated what abortion would do to the baby and how it would also affect Marie. The conversation continued for several minutes. When Edmund hung up the phone, he turned to me and said, “At first Anton told me that he and Marie were going to abort the baby, but now he assured me he would think it over.”

Edmund sat down in a chair, pensive and quiet. For a few minutes neither of us spoke. Finally, I asked, “Do you think the baby’s going to make it?” He did not respond right away, but continued immersed in thought. “Yes, I do,” he said. “But we’re going to have to stay with Anton and Marie every inch of the way.”

That night I could not sleep. I was gripped with fear that the child would be lost. I was sinking down ever deeper in despair and yet struggling against the loss of hope. I knew if this baby was killed my heart would be broken to pieces. “No! No!” I cried. “God won’t let this baby die. God doesn’t take back His gifts. He doesn’t take them back.”

More than a cry, this was a prayer. At the end of my outburst I felt that I was clinging ever so tightly to the promise of God for this baby. At 2:00 A.M., unable to sleep, I finally believed in my innermost self that God would not let the baby die.

Early the next morning, with Edmund at my side, I knocked at the door of Bernice’s apartment. Anton had spent the night with Marie. My knock awoke them both. Anton answered the door. He had just slipped on a pair of jeans. Marie was sitting up on the mattress with the one dirty sheet drawn around her body. As soon as I saw Anton I took his hand in my own. He did not pull away.

“Anton, please tell me what is wrong.”

“Nothin’s wrong. We’ve made our decision and that’s that.”

“But your decision is to kill your own child.”

“It ain’t even here yet!” he burst out in anger. Then, repeating a cliche he had obviously picked up from pro-abortion rhetoric: “Besides, what about all the starving people in the world?”

Edmund turned to Marie. “Marie, I thought you wanted the baby.”

Anton suddenly yelled at her. “Marie, tell ’em you don’t want this baby. For once in your life speak up for yourself!”

“I do and I don’t,” she responded.

“Anton,” I said, “Just tell me why you want an abortion. Just give me a reason.”

Anton lit a cigarette and stood silently, unwilling or unable to give an answer.

“Anton, do you love Marie?” Edmund asked him. “Yeah, I love her.”

“Then you shouldn’t even think of an abortion. It is hurtful to her.”

I then asked Marie, “Marie, what do you want? Do you want this baby deep down in your heart?”

“I want the baby,” she replied. “But Anton, will you hate me if I have this baby?”

“No, I won’t hate you.”

“I got to be sure, Anton. Will you be mad at me if I have this baby?”

“No, I won’t be mad.”

“Will you love me no matter what?”

“Yes, I do love you.”

In this brief exchange of words Marie’s hidden fear was finally finding a voice. She needed Anton’s unconditional love. Only in such love could this baby live.

“Come here if you love me, Anton, and kiss me,” said Marie.

Anton knelt down on the mattress, and kissed and hugged Marie. In their embrace I saw a seal on the baby’s salvation. Because they were more solidly joined, the baby would not have to be torn apart.

In another half hour we all stood inside St. Joseph’s hospital for Marie’s interview for the obstetrical care program. Anton’s face beamed with joy when he heard the intake worker tell them there would be no charge at all for Marie’s prenatal cafe and delivery. Since Marie did not work and was up on public aid, St. Joseph’s took her as a charity case. Anton had just been relieved of one of his greatest burdens.

“See Anton,” I said, “God is here. He’s right here caring for you.”

“Yes, yes I do see,” he nodded with a large smile.

Marie’s first appointment was set for the following Wednesday, January 27. When Edmund and I dropped off Anton and Marie at Bernice’s apartment, I got out of the car to say some last reassuring words to Anton. I was completely caught off guard as Anton put his arms around me and hugged me. “Thank you,” he said. His face was bright with happiness.

“Trust God,” I said to Anton. “He has you right in the palm of his hand.”

On Monday, January 25, Marie was going to celebrate her twentieth birthday. As a gift I bought her some new maternity clothes and a necklace. On the Sunday before her birthday I took her out to eat. She was lighthearted and cheerful all during the meal. She said that on her birthday tomorrow Anton and his mother, Janette, were going to take her out to eat at Red Lobster in celebration. I told Marie I, too, had a present for her. She wanted to see it right away. We left the restaurant and went straight to my apartment.

Marie sat delighted in the large blue living room chair and waited like a child for her gift. Since I had not yet wrapped the maternity clothes, when I placed the bright colored top and slacks on her lap she saw immediately what they were. For a brief, fleeting second she halfway rolled her eyes and pursed her lips in disappointment. She wiped the expression from her face quickly, hoping that I had not seen it. Not even the necklace seemed to be something she wanted. I sat on the couch, disappointed myself that Marie was not pleased with the gifts I had given her. Marie told me once that she needed some money to spend. Perhaps she hoped I would simply give her cash.

Now that I had given Marie the gift, there really was no reason to prolong the visit, and yet she lingered in the chair as though she did not wish to leave the apartment. Indeed, she acted as though there was something she wanted to discuss. In the most subtle way, Marie’s reaction to the presents haunted me the rest of the day.

Monday night, the evening of Marie’s birthday, I made dinner for myself, and after eating I lay down on the couch to rest. My mind wandered back to the split-second expression of disappointment on Marie’s face. Suddenly a pain of anxiety shot through my stomach and chest. I sat straight up on the couch. I sensed that something was wrong. Her expression was not one of simple disappointment about the gifts. I believed it meant something else.

I called Anton at his grandmother’s house. I had some news for him anyway. Earlier that day I had discovered that a $2000 bill for “little” Anton had been paid in full by public assistance. This meant that Anton had no pressing financial burdens for either of his two children. When I told Anton the news about the bill, he expressed neither happiness nor surprise. His only response was a simple “Oh.” He then said, “Marie is here. She wants to talk to you.”

“Monica,” Marie said, her voice full of apprehension, “I got to tell you something.”

I guarded myself against an avalanche of sorrow, and asked, “Did you have an abortion?”

“No,” she answered, “but, well, we went to Planned Parenthood today.”

The jab of anxiety turned into a dull, awful ache. “Why Marie?”

“I ain’t ready for the baby.”

“Then put the baby up for adoption.”

“That’ll be just like killin’ it.”

“Marie, how can you say that? You know that abortion is killing.”

“But if I put the baby up for adoption I still won’t have the baby, so it would be just like it was dead.”

Suddenly, Anton’s voice was on the phone again. “Look,” he yelled, “we’ve made our decision.”

“Your decision is to commit murder, to kill your own child. Why Anton? You have no reason except your own selfishness. You just don’t want the baby. You have no reason to kill this child. Your mother will take him. You have no medical bills to pay at all and you have us to help you. It’s a waste that this baby should die. Anton, you know you’re committing murder. You should be horrified at the thought of what abortion will do to your baby.”

Anton responded, “Marie says that you told her to come and live with you so that you could take her away from me.”

“No! That’s not true at all. She’s lying to you. I never said any such thing. Anton, you’re looking for an excuse to have the abortion. Only because of your fear and selfishness is this baby going to die.”

“Okay,” he hollered back. “I’m selfish. We’ve made our decision. Don’t bother us no more.” With these words he hung up.

That night Edmund and I searched for Anton’s mother. She was our last hope. If Janette would tell her son not to kill the baby, perhaps he would finally listen. She worked as a nurse’s aid in the psychiatric ward at the Milwaukee County Medical Complex. She agreed to meet with us after her 11:00 P.M. shift ended. We went to talk at an all-night restaurant. Even though she was weary from her long night’s work, this kindly black woman listened to Edmund and me with patience. She explained, “I don’t want them to abort the baby, but I will not interfere. They have to make their own decision. I think my place is to butt-out this time. Anton knows I will take the child for as long as he and Marie need to get on their feet.”

“Janette, you are the child’s grandmother,” I said. “You are already involved. You may be the only person who can save the baby now.” I told Janette how Edmund and I helped retrieve the bodies of aborted babies from the dumpster in Chicago. I brought several photos of these children with me. Janette wanted to see them. As she looked at the broken bodies her conscience was stirred. One photo was the face of a black child aborted at four months. His beautifully developed hands and feet were also visible jutting out of the mass of blood and placental tissue. Marie’s baby was now the same age as this one. Before we left the restaurant Janette assured us that she would talk to her son the next day.

The next day, Tuesday, January 26, I called Janette at 10:30 A.M. She told me that she had tried to reach Anton at the grandmother’s earlier that morning, but no one answered the phone. I called Janette back in the afternoon but she had not yet spoken to her son.

Filled with worry, I laid my fatigued body down on the couch. I was unable to focus on anything but the life of the baby. The phone rang. It was Janette. She was still unable to reach Anton. When I hung up the phone I buried my face in my hands. This child was saved from abortion in answer to my Christmas prayer. How could the baby be lost now? I strained to understand. With my face in my hands I prayed. “God please hear me. Right now, this second, I put the baby in your hands. No matter what, I lift him up to you.”

Five minutes later the phone rang. It was Janette. “Anton just called me,” she said. “He called collect from Madison. He said he and Marie went to a clinic. He said they had it done. They had the abortion today.”

I did not cry at first. I was numbed by the news. What flashed into my mind were thoughts of the child’s fetal body. I knew how it looked: cast out of the womb, crushed inside some specimen bag tagged with a number in the back room of an abortion center in Madison. Out of reach. I knew it was not chance the baby was saved from abortion three days before Christmas. This was God’s will. It was not chance the baby was killed 36 days later. This was his parent’s will. Soon after the news of the baby’s death I called a priest who had been praying for Anton and Marie. I wept when he reminded me the child was with God now.

Four days later, within the very same week, Li Chin and Ghi’s baby was born. When Li Chin and her baby were ready to go home I picked them up at St. Joseph’s hospital. In the hospital room I watched her and Ghi wrap their baby daughter in a soft new blanket. As though performing a most sacred ritual, they carefully, slowly, gently folded the blanket around her tiny body. To watch them wrap the child was to observe a deliberate tenderness: is same child so tenderly wrapped by her parents now, only seven months before was scheduled to be violently crushed in abortion.

While we drove in the car, Ghi sat in the back seat with the child held close to his body. Li Chin sat next to me in the front seat. My heart was filled with a glorious joy. Here was a baby saved from abortion held in her father’s arms, and I was taking the family home.

Suddenly I turned a corner and a cemetery loomed up in front of us. It was Holy Cross, a Catholic cemetery. I did not at all expect to pass this cemetery on the way to Li Chin and Ghi’s apartment. The bodies of 27 aborted babies are buried there, killed at the Bread and Roses clinic. Their bodies were found in a trash dumpster in 1984. They were first discovered by children. When the police asked what they were doing with the fetuses, the children responded that they were only playing with the “little people.”

As we passed the rows and rows of tombstones I knew somewhere among them all was the “little people’s” grave. I drove my car as if parading past them to display this saved baby cradled in her father’s arms. I felt as though a wave of justice suddenly crashed over the world. In my heart I cried out a prayer to the “little people,” knowing full well that Anton and Marie’s baby was now with them. “Oh, you aborted babies killed in the abortion mills, here in my car—can you see?—there’s one who got away.”


  • Monica Migliorino

    Monica Migliorino Miller (Monica Migliorino at the time this article was published) is a nationally known pro-life leader, a pioneeer and veteran of pro-life activism dating back to 1976, and founder of Citizens for a pro-life Society. In addition to her pro-life leadership Miller is an associate professor of religious studies at Madonna University having earned her doctorate at Marquette University. Monica and her husband Edmund have three children. She resides in South Lyon, Michigan.

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