Today is the 35th anniversary of the handing down of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton cases, which combined to legalize abortion for any reason up to the moment of birth. It’s amazing that a Supreme Court that in the past has upheld the constitutionality of segregation, slavery, and forced sterilization could sink even lower, but with these decisions it did. It now became enshrined as a constitutional right that one person could kill another for no better reason than convenience or a whim.
It’s commonly believed that Roe v. Wade allowed abortion in later trimesters (itself a medically meaningless distinction) for health reasons. Those who believe this are unaware that Roe referred to Doe v. Bolton for its definition of health, and Doe defined health so broadly that even something as innocuous as “having stretch marks would bum me out” grants medical permission for an abortion.
This is the great shame of our time: that one person can determine the worth of another. And that’s what the pro-life movement is about: the fact that all humans have the same innate worth, regardless of age, disability or other excuses some would use to deem them less worthy of life. Denying that other human being have less dignity than others has been used to justify a great many evils over the years: slavery, the Holocaust, and segregation to pick just a few.
A final note to Catholics: today is “a particular day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life.” (As is every January 22nd, unless it falls on a Sunday, in which case it’s transferred to January 23rd.) (Hat Tip: Amy Welborn) Personally, I’m fasting and may stop by an adoration chapel to say a rosary. (Pray the pro-life mysteries of the rosary.)