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Columns | Saturday, December 18, 2021

It is time to overturn Roe v. Wade

Archbishop Wenski's column for the December 2021 edition of the Florida Catholic

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The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Dec. 1st for the biggest abortion case in decades. The case before the nation’s high court, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is an appeal from Mississippi to keep its ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. As University of Notre Dame law professor O. Carter Snead noted: “The court’s abortion jurisprudence has for decades imposed on the nation, without constitutional justification, an extreme, incoherent and deeply unjust regime pursuant to specious reasoning and constantly changing rules, standards and rationales.”

Because of Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, we live in a nation where abortion laws are among the most liberal among the Western democracies. It is time to overturn Roe v. Wade and the 1992 ruling, Casey v. Planned Parenthood, that compounded the error of Roe.

The court’s decision will not be announced before June or July 2022. Defenders of the current abortion regime are hysterically predicting “doom and gloom” if the court sides with Mississippi. While pro-lifers will cheer if Roe is overturned, this eventuality will not, however, end abortion in the United States. But it would return decision-making about abortion policy to the people and their elected representatives. Pro-lifers hope that dismantling Roe will allow legislation protecting the unborn to move forward and to survive constitutional challenges in the future.

In 1973, the Supreme Court ignored the facts of human life in the womb, as well as the facts about abortion’s negative effects on women, to find a constitutional “right” to abortion.

Legalized abortion was a consequence of the sexual revolution of the ‘60s, which has wreaked havoc on our contemporary culture. Two generations have grown up with the notion, constantly fueled by media messages, that sex is merely a “recreational activity” that can be engaged in without thought of any possible consequences such as pregnancy or emotional harm. A contraceptive mentality led to seeing fertility as a “disease” and pregnancy as a “pathology.” Abortion was seen as the solution to an unforeseen problem, a fallback position if contraception failed or was not used. But abortion is no solution — and it is no right. It is a wrong, a grievous wrong that has prematurely ended the lives of more than 60 million souls in this country alone since 1973.

The “sexual revolution,” in separating the link between sexual activity and procreation, resulted in the breakup families and devaluation of the life of the unborn child. It also has changed the view of marriage and the family as the commitment of one man and one woman to a lifelong relationship where children are born and nurtured.

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, at a National Prayer Breakfast in 1994, in the presence of Bill Clinton, then president of the United States: “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”

As we wait for summer and the court’s ruling, we continue to pray for an end to legalized abortion; and we ask God to heal and reconcile those scarred by abortion —especially mothers who mistakenly saw abortion as a “solution” to a problem.

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