May/June, 1998 Volume XII Number 12

Activist completes 40 day fast

by Paul deParrie
Jackson, MS -- Roy McMillan has spent upwards of 10,000 hours outside Jackson abortuaries -- a shame to many area "pro-lifers" and a salvation to more than 1,000 abortion-bound infants.
Starting at 12:01 a.m. on January 22, the 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, McMillan began a 40-day, 40-night, liquids-only "Shared Suffering" fast outside the New Woman Medical Center on Briarwood Drive to draw attention to 25 years of legal abortion in the U.S.
"I hated the idea of doing something like that at first," McMillan said. "But I thought it would be a fitting end to the first quarter-century of killing unborn children."
McMillan, director of Christian Action Group, says he convinced an estimated 30 women to forgo killing their children during the fast -- which ended at midnight, March 2.
During the 40 days, McMillan devoted at least two hours a day to prayer and spent his nights in his car outside the clinic until authorities, fearful that some of the many death threats McMillan received might be acted upon, convinced him to sleep at a nearby Right-to-Life office. Passers-by sometimes threw beer bottles and other items at McMillan while he was outside the clinic. About a dozen supporters spent time praying, fasting, and staying with McMillan during the fast.
The fast itself created a deep divide -- not only in the pro-abortion camp, but among pro-lifers as well. One woman, Katrina Jameson, wrote a letter published in the Clarion-Ledger calling it "disgraceful" that McMillan continued to hold his signs on Sunday when church-goers at the Briarwood Presbyterian Church across the street from the abortuary were subjected to them.
"If McMillan is such a Christian, why wasn't he in church instead of harassing those who were?" she asked.
Matt Friedman, a Clarion-Ledger columnist, noted, "Maybe, just maybe, in the midst of our disgracefulness [for ignoring abortion] we have earned ourselves a prophet of 'disgrace.' Don't like Roy McMillan? Well, guess what, you got what you deserved."
McMillan is no stranger to controversy. He has been castigated for his unwillingness to condemn the use of force to stop abortion. In fact, one week into his "Shared Suffering" fast, a bomb exploded at a Birmingham, Alabama abortuary killing a hired security guard and seriously injuring an abortionist's nurse ( Life Advocate, March/April 1998).
When asked about the explosion, McMillan replied, "We've been out here praying and fasting, and one of our prayers has been answered." He added, "I don't know how many [babies] have been killed in that abortion clinic in Birmingham, but today no one in that building will die who's innocent."
In a related story, a few days after the Shared Suffering fast, on March 6, Temple Baptist Church in Gulfport, Mississippi bought the building which houses the last abortuary run by abortionist Joseph T. Booker -- one of McMillan's long-time nemeses -- and evicted the clinic from the premises.
In addition to McMillan's efforts to rid the state of Booker, Stephen Crane, pastor of the 1,100 member church, and his congregation have been trying to find ways to end abortion in their neighborhood. At a foreclosure auction, Temple Baptist was the high bidder for the building at $60,001. The clinic has been located in the building since 1992.
"For the past six years, we have been praying to God to move it off the premises," said Crane.
The church has been active and vocal in Gulfport in opposition to abortion. The clinic was also the site of a 1994 national picket by the American Coalition of Life Activists only nine days after the shooting death of abortionist John Britton in Pensacola, Florida.
"Mississippi is now down to but two mills," said McMillan.
McMillan's wife, Beverly, an obstetrician/gynecologist, opened the first abortuary in Mississippi in the 1970s, has since repented of her "murders" and serves many of the young women whom her husband turns away from abortion.

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