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September 21, 2012

Madonna professor authors anti-abortion book

By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer

ORCHARD LAKE — A professor who once taught at Madonna University’s Orchard Lake campus has completed a new book that describes a living history of anti-abortion politics.

This month, Monica Migliorino Miller, of South Lyon, released her book, “Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars.” The book chronicles her experiences as an anti-abortion activist and tells the movement’s history from her point of view through court transcripts, news articles, photos, journal entries and more.

While Miller teaches at Madonna University’s Livonia campus these days, she taught Catholic moral theology at the university’s Orchard Lake campus from about 2002-07.

“My students knew that I was a very prominent pro-life activist leader,” she said. “A lot of my students were supportive of my work.”

When she’s not in the classroom, Miller is still continuing to make the case against abortion. In “Abandoned” she reveals a slice of her formal involvement in anti-abortion activism, starting in 1976 and ending in 1994.

She said that while the book took two to three years to write, it was important to complete it because the movement must preserve its history, and it cannot rely on outsiders to tell it.

“The book is, I think, the first of its kind,” she said. “While the book provides a very important book on activism … I also want to present a meaning, a philosophy, of what’s at stake.”

Miller cared about animal welfare as a child, and her initiation into anti-abortion politics began in 1976 when she was 23 and a college student at Southern Illinois University — just years after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that established precedent on legalized abortion.

Miller said she remembers a time in college when a friend told her that she was going to get an abortion.

“It caught me completely off guard,” Miller said. “I told her I didn’t approve, but I felt very unprepared to offer her any argument or even to extend to her any help. … So it was after that that I became even more involved.”

Soon after, she began to get involved with anti-abortion activist groups. She eventually formed her own, Citizens for a Pro-life Society, and engaged in clinic demonstrations until 1994. One such demonstration resulted in a seven-month jail sentence, she said.

As Miller reflects on the anti-abortion movement today, she said activists have more work to do in persuading people to reject abortion in cases of difficult circumstances, such as rape and incest. But she believes the overall movement is bigger and more robust than ever before.

“I think more and more people are becoming uneasy with abortion, especially when they’re becoming uneasy with abortion in the second and third trimesters,” she said.

Christian Tappe, editor of Saint Benedict Press, the book’s publisher, called Miller “a force in the pro-life movement.” He said in a statement that her book puts the abortion topic and its victims “right before your eyes, in sharp relief.”

“It forces the reader to confront the issue. And it forces the reader to confront their own views on abortion,” Tappe said in a statement. “We believe that this book can change hearts and minds.”

To learn more about Miller’s book, “Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars,” visit www.saintbenedictpress.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at eczarnik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1058.