Overturn Roe v. Wade? Let’s talk

We don’t know whether the retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and the approaching nomination of a new justice by President Donald Trump, might eventually lead to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case legalizing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

We do know that a renewed discussion regarding Roe v. Wade, which has already begun in earnest, is healthy and much preferred over silence and indifference as hundreds of thousands of innocent unborn children die violent deaths each year in the United States.

Those supporting the decision consider it “settled law” for 45 years. But the decision continues to be greatly unsettling for millions of Americans who cast votes based upon it in elections, work for limiting its effects in states and local communities, and show up by the hundreds of thousands in the nation’s capital every January on the anniversary of the ruling.

It was a flawed, gravely unjust ruling, relegating a whole class of human beings to non-protected status. Science in the years since Roe v. Wade is certainly on the pro-life side, as technology gives us clearer glimpses inside the womb and medical advances allow for the survival of babies born ever earlier.

In this space on Jan. 4, we listed several headlines we would like to write in 2018. Among them was: “U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.” Maybe that headline will be written, if not this year, in the coming years.

In the meantime, let’s not be afraid to join — civilly and respectfully — in the messy debate. Take a stand for life when challenged by friends and family members, in person or on social media. Pray for President Trump, his nominee, and for legislators on both sides of the divide. Find ways to work on behalf of mothers in need, such as the Christ Child Society featured on the cover of our last edition or any number of pro-life outreaches that put the teachings our teachings of our Faith into action.

Because if Roe is overturned, it’s not the end of the pro-life movement, but a new beginning that will require even more commitment from those who embrace the Gospel of Life.

During this Independence Day week, on this topic and others, we recall the words of St. John Paul II during his visit to the U.S. in 1987: “America, your deepest identity and truest character as a nation is revealed in the position you take toward the human person. The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless ones.” — Thomas J. Dermody

 

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