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Scott P. Richert

35 Years of Roe v. Wade

By January 22, 2008

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On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade, one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions in the history of the United States. Declaring abortion legal up through the point of "viability" (about the 24th week of pregnancy), Roe overturned the laws against abortion in 46 of the 50 states.

In the 35 years that have followed, almost 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States, a country with a current population of 300 million. A disproportionate number of those abortions have been performed on minorities and the poor.

While most people know that the Catholic Church has consistently condemned abortion and stood up for the protection of all the unborn, many people do not realize that abortion is an ancient practice, and thus the Church's opposition to abortion goes all the way back to apostolic times. One of the oldest Christian documents besides the Bible is called the Didache--"The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles"--and it declares: "You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish." Roman writers remarked that one distinguishing mark of Christians was that they did not kill their children.

Sadly, that is no longer the case. Most abortions in the United States today are performed on women who are at least nominally Christian. As we observe this grim anniversary, we need to redouble our commitment to what Pope John Paul II called "the culture of life," so that those women will return to the Church's consistent teaching, and so that we will open our hearts to provide them with the support and resources necessary to help them choose life.

Pro-Life Prayers:

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January 22, 2008 at 11:15 am
(1) Dawn Stacey says:

I respect that Catholic view about abortion, and my intention is not to say that abortion is either right or wrong. Regardless of one’s belief in the morality of abortion, it would be irresponsible to ignore the reality. The Guttmacher Institute reports the following significant demographics about abortion:

1. Approximately 88% of abortions are preformed within in the first trimester (3 months) of a pregnancy with roughly 59% take place within the first eight weeks of pregnancy.

2. Women of every social class and race elect to have an abortion, and 57% of women who seek abortion are economically disadvantaged (living below the federal poverty level).

3. 78% of women who have had an abortion report having a religious affiliation: 43% of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 27% as Catholic.

4. Of women obtaining abortions, 54% were using a birth control method during the time they became pregnant.

Instead, I offer that we look at Roe v. Wade in the manner to what it symbolizes. In this decision, the Supreme Court told“the women of America, ‘Your body belongs to you,’ and the nation listened. After 1973, anti-rape and anti-domestic violence activism erupted.

Gloria Feldt, former president of Planned Parenthood Federation, suggests another way to view abortion: “It’s often overlooked that abortion is as much part of family formation as childbearing. Women don’t have abortions because they fail to value children, but because they value children so highly, they want to give birth when they can care for them well.”
Dawn Stacey

January 27, 2008 at 9:49 pm
(2) Betty Favreau says:

PLEASE…for any woman considering an abortion…first think about what your unborn child would answer if GIVEN THE CHOICE TO LIVE OR DIE! That little angel would say “PLEASE MOMMY, LET ME STAY…SOMEONE THERE REALLY REALLY WANTS ME…You will hear that little cry for the rest of your life until “YOUR” death. PLEASE, PLEASE MOMMY….LET ME STAY..SOMEONE THERE ALREADY LOVES ME.

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