WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Two pro-life advocates are serving jail time for following God's law instead of man's law.
Judge Marc Barron of the 48th District court revoked the probation of pro-life advocates, Will Goodman and Monica Miller, directors of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, and sentenced them to 45 days in the Oakland County jail for violating the conditions of their probation.
Goodman, who has been in jail since his arrest on June 1, pled guilty to the charge, admitting he was "with Dr. Miller at the abortion mill." He denied that he was "picketing or harassing" and that his actions weren't done to prove a point or to show contempt of the courts saying, "My actions were done to protect innocent lives with signs."
Larry Sherman, West Bloomfield city attorney, recalled both Goodman and Miller's statements during the trial that they wouldn't comply with the terms of the probation and advocated for jail time. Sherman said, "He was a person of his word," noting Goodman hasn't complied with the terms of his probation.
Sherman also accused Goodman and Miller of violating the rights of privacy of the patients and even their religion.
"This is their means of imposing their religious beliefs on others," he said.
Goodman denied having any contact with patients or staff, saying, "I would never want to impose my religion on others. My decision on June 1 to go to a place where lives were in danger was not contempt ... it was to non-violently stand up to an element that was unjust."
When Judge Barron asked Goodman why he didn't follow the appeal process, Goodman said, "There was a process of appeal."
He noted that one-quarter of the probation has passed and a decision hasn't been made. He said he didn't know if it was "neglect or a deliberate attempt to delay."
Robert Muise, lead counsel for the defendants, told Church Militant shortly after the arrest, he filed another emergency motion to stay their sentences but even that wasn't heard by the district court. Muise was in at a hearing in Sterling Heights to advance the appeal of the conviction for the Red Rose Rescue at Northland Family Planning.
In his statement to Judge Barron before sentencing, Goodman said, "I stand here today on behalf of the pro-born people of West Bloomfield."
He explained non-violent civil disobedience is an "American tradition" that has been used to counteract government overreach and "shed light on truth." He noted that there are monuments to Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks and international recognition has been given to Mother Theresa and Lech Walesa, the former president of Poland, for their acts of civil disobedience.
He said his actions were "respectfully, civilly, to follow in the steps of Martin Luther King, Jr." In closing, he quoted the invocation said before each Supreme Court session: "God save the United States and this honorable court."
The courtroom, full of about 30 supporters, erupted in applause.
Unmoved, Judge Barron called Goodman a "danger to the community" and an anarchist who "picks and chooses" which laws he obeys based on what is "in his head." He noted Goodman was "in favor of autonomy, in favor of anarchy" for his choice to go to Jacob Kalo's abortion mill and stand with a sign.
Judge Barron noted that Goodman's "own morality" dictated his actions and even disagreed with Goodman's retort that there is objective morality asking,"how's it objective?"
After Judge Barron imposed the 45-day sentence, Goodman exited the courtroom to loud applause, acknowledging his supporters.
When Miller was called, she pled no contest, accepting the punishment of a guilty plea without an admission of guilt. Judge Barron mocked Miller's plea and said it "goes against everything you believe in" and "it's rather hypocritical on your behalf."
Miller explained that a guilty plea would have ramifications on the upcoming restitution hearing that may force them to pay as much as $7,000 to Kalo for damages done during the Red Rose Rescue in December 2017.
During the discussions, Miller mentioned that the restrictions imposed on them were unjust. When Judge Barron began to refute that with "your morality," Miller corrected him by saying, "I don't think it's just mine, there's objective morality."
Erin Mersino, a lawyer working with the defendants' legal counsel, American Freedom Law Center, filed a conscientious objection saying, "There are people who are alive today that wouldn't be without Ms. Miller's actions."
In her statement before sentencing, Miller started with an acknowledgment of the victims of abortion.
"The unborn exist, they're real people," she said. She advocated for their rights, saying the law allowing abortion is "an unjust law — it kills others, really, truly alive breathing people, members of the human family — they have rights."
"A human is alive today because I disobeyed your order," Miller concluded.
"I want it to be clear we're talking about different laws," Sherman said. He explained that this is a trespassing and resisting arrest case, not a trial about Roe v. Wade. He admonished Miller to take her cause to Washington, D.C. and said, "The women have their own right to privacy."
Sherman again advocated for jail time saying, "Once probation is terminated, we're going to end up right back here again."
Judge Barron said he never heard the argument that the trespassing and resisting arrest charges were unjust. Miller replied, "That law was used to take us away from a clinic with a horrible reputation."
Kalo has been sued for malpractice for a botched abortion, accused of sexual misconduct with a patient and convicted of tax fraud.
"You don't want a rule of law judge," Judge Barron replied, adding, "you want a judge that will base it on morality." He sentenced Miller to 45 days in jail and warned her that there could be a reimposition of probation for up to two years, noting, "I don't say it lightly."
As Miller was taken away, she told her children, some of whom were in tears, "it's going to be OK" and motioned to the courtroom for prayers.
Miller and Goodman face additional legal battles and thousands of dollars in fines and Sherman plans to press the issue of restitution to the abortionist.
Lynn Mills, a close friend of Miller, told Church Militant the night before her sentencing that Miller had said,"I'm having a hard time with people who don't understand you can't make change without making a sacrifice."
Cards and letters of support as well as books can be mailed to Dr. Monica Miller and Will Goodman at the following address:
Monica Miller 423109
Will Goodman 423110
P.O. Box 436017
Pontiac, MI 48343