Please support our sponsors, they make this website possible.
Pro-Life Rising, Forty Years after Roe v. Wade
January 23, 2013
Forty years ago, on Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade, one of the two worst decisions in its history. The court’s first mega-error, the 1857 decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, declared an entire class of human beings beyond the protection of the laws; Roe v. Wade declared another class of human beings, the unborn, beyond legal protection. Dred Scott helped precipitate the Civil War; Roe v. Wade led to a vast expansion of the pro-life movement, the largest movement of social reform in America since the civil rights movement and the natural successor to that effort to repair the lingering damage done by Dred Scott.
The battle to build an America in which every child is protected in law and welcomed in life continues. Forty years after Roe, the pro-life movement can cite at least ten reasons why it may, in time, carry the day.
(1) Abortion has never been accepted as part of mainstream medical practice. Abortion is regarded as tawdry and abortionists are stigmatized by much of the medical establishment.
(2) The science of human reproduction and gestation has confirmed the pro-life position and rendered the “science” of Roe risible.
(3) The sonogram, which permits us to see the results of human conception, has been a cultural game-changer.
(4) The people of the United States have decisively rejected the Supreme Court’s 1992 diktat in Casey v. Planned Parenthood, wherein the court instructed the people to end the abortion debate. With leadership from, among many others, the Catholic bishops of the United States, the people decided that they would not be silenced, and the pro-life movement has grown ever since.
(5) The pro-choice world has always been rigid; it now displays an increasing desperation. Pro-life organizations have worked incrementally to regulate abortion clinics and protect women from butchers like Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell; to mandate informed consent in abortion-decisions and parental consent in the case of minors seeking abortions; and to legislate waiting periods so that women in crisis pregnancies can consider their situation with as much calm as circumstances allow. The pro-choice world has resisted every one of these efforts to create situations of informed choice; it also resisted both a ban on the abortion of late-term fetuses partially born and legal requirements to try to save the lives of children who survive late-term abortions. Indeed, in certain political circles, abortion seems to be regarded as a kind of secular sacrament. This brutality has not gone unnoticed. Neither has the hysteria with which Planned Parenthood attacked the foundation Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
(6) The pro-life movement is getting younger while the pro-“choice” opposition is graying. What really alarms the pro-Roe forces in American politics about the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., is not just the impressive numbers: it’s that the marchers get younger, every year. And that youthful vitality is not limited to one cold January day in the nation’s capital; there are new pro-life organizations among younger physicians and attorneys. All of which suggests that the pro-life movement is American civil society at its robust and self-revitalizing best.
(7) Pro-lifers have had increasing success at the state legislative level in recent years and can anticipate more success in this phase of the battle in the immediate future.
(8) The sheer implausibility of the legal argument in Roe v. Wade has become clearer over time. Few serious legal scholars defend the legal reasoning in Roe, and even honest liberal scholars agree with one of Roe’s dissenters, Justice Byron White, who labeled the decision an exercise in “raw judicial power.”
(9) The humane service rendered to hundreds of thousands of women in thousands of crisis pregnancy centers across the country has demonstrated, time and again, that the pro-life movement is the party of compassion in this debate.
(10) A 2012 Gallup poll found that 50 percent of the American people self-define as “pro-life.”
So there is reason for a measure of satisfaction, if not exultation, on Roe’s fortieth anniversary.
George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. His previous “On the Square” articles can be found here.
Fr. Barron comments on Why Dr. King Still Matters
Martin Luther King Jr’s Niece: My Uncle Would be Pro-Life by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com
As the nation today marks the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his niece Alevda King says her uncle would be pro-life and battle against abortion if he were alive today. As the daughter of Rev. A. D. King, a leader in the Civil Right’s movement, King sees the pro-life cause as a continuation of the Civil Rights movement in which her uncle was a prominent leader.
Alveda King called her uncle “a man of great compassion, and a man of non-violence.”
“He once said, ‘The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety,’” she added.
King said her uncle would understand that to include the destruction of unborn children.
“I know in my heart that if Uncle Martin were alive today, he would join with me in the greatest civil rights struggle of this generation – the recognition of the unborn child’s basic right to life,” she told LifeNews.com previously.
“My uncle Martin would agree that we cannot end poverty, hunger, or suffering by killing those who might suffer,” she explained. “We cannot claim to guarantee equal rights if we deny the rights of the helpless. And we cannot feign ignorance of the fact that those who are torn apart, crushed, or left to die on an abortionist’s table are just as human as we are.”
“My uncle said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Alveda continued.
“Abortion is genocide,” King says. “It’s killing populations. It’s killing generations and certainly the population that is most impacted by abortion in America is the black community. So I feel that as a civil rights leader I have responsibility to proclaim that black Americans are being exterminated by the genocidal acts of abortion.”
Alveda King is now a proud mother of six and grandmother of six, but she once took the lives of her own children in abortion. Now, as a Christian pro-life leader, she works with Priests for Life and Silent No More to stop abortion.
“I had two abortions and a miscarriage related to damage from those abortions,” King has said. “I realized that I was violating the civil rights of a person. When I had my abortions, we were told that it was a blob of tissue and not a person.”
“The great irony is that abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of… Roughly one quarter of the black population is now missing,” she adds.
King, the full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, will take part in events today in honor of her late father, the Rev. Dr. Alfred Daniels King, and her late uncle. She was at book signing Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. at the King Center Freedom Hall Auditorium and, in the Freedom Hall, screened the film “Brother of the Dreamer,” about her father, one of the main strategists behind many civil rights campaigns. King and her mother, Naomi Barber King, attended.
Naomi Barber King, mother of Alveda, is also a crusader in the battle to save African-American babies from abortion. King’s commitment to life began when she changed her mind about aborting her daughter.
“My father-in-law, Martin Luther King Sr., told me he had a vision of my child and he wanted to meet the baby girl in his vision,” Mrs. King said.
At the age of 37, Mrs. King was left a widow with five children following the untimely death of her husband, who was a prominent civil rights leader in his own right.
“God gave me the strength to do all I had to after that,” said the soft-spoken Atlanta resident.
“My mother is a woman of courage, commitment, compassion and indomitable strength,” Alveda King responds. “I am so proud to be her daughter.”
Today, the Kings joined family members at a service at Ebenezer Baptist Church that began with a wreath-laying.
Alveda King has been working full-time for the pro-life cause for nearly a decade. When she met Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, the two found themselves in agreement that “the fight for all human life, from conception until natural death, is the most pressing civil rights and human rights issue of our time.”
Totus Tuus – Totally Yours: Summer Job Opening
Totus Tuus in the diocese of Wichita is seeking young adults, enthusiastic about their Catholic faith, who are willing to be “Totally God’s” during the summer of 2013. By saying “YES!” to this call, you will serve as a teacher on a team of four that travels about the diocese of Wichita teaching children in grades 1st thru 12th about their Catholic Faith in an exciting and hands-on approach. For more information and/or to download the Totus Tuus Teacher application, please visit catholicdioceseofwichita.org/totus-tuus/totus-tuus-home. Applications must be postmarked by February 1, 2013. If you have any questions, please contact Raschelle Jirak, Totus Tuus Program Coordinator, at
or by calling 316-440-1732.
Christ's Baptism Foreshadows Our Own:
At first glance, the Baptism of the Lord might seem an odd feast. Since the Catholic Church teaches that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for the remission of sins, particularly Original Sin, why was Christ baptized? After all, He was born without Original Sin, and He lived His entire life without sinning. Therefore, He had no need of the sacrament, as we do.
In submitting Himself humbly to the baptism of St. John the Baptist, however, Christ provided the example for the rest of us. If even He should be baptized, though He had no need of it, how much more should the rest of us be thankful for this sacrament, which frees us from the darkness of sin and incorporates us into the Church, the life of Christ on earth! His Baptism, therefore, was necessary--not for Him, but for us.
Many of the Fathers of the Church, as well as the medieval Scholastics, saw Christ's Baptism as the institution of the sacrament. His Flesh blessed the water, and the descent of the Holy Spirit (in the form of a dove) and the voice of God the Father announcing that this was His Son, in Whom He was well pleased, marked the beginning of Christ's public ministry.