U.S. Supreme Court Decision Returns Abortion Issue to States
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the tragic 1973 ruling
known as Roe v. Wade represents a victory for women and children
throughout the country.
“Roe v. Wade is a deeply
flawed decision which rightly has now been tossed into the ash bin of history,”
said Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life
Federation, the Keystone State affiliate of National Right to Life.
“More than 63 million preborn children have lost their lives to this
abominable decision. In addition, countless
mothers have been left to grieve babies lost to abortion. With today’s
landmark ruling, the issue of abortion policy rightfully returns to the states,
where the public, through their duly elected representatives, can pursue
policies that protect preborn children and their mothers from harm,” Gallagher
“We commend the High Court
for recognizing the truth that a so-called ‘right’ to abortion appears nowhere
in the U.S. Constitution,” Gallagher said. “This is a day of victory for the most vulnerable among us.”
Statistics from the PA
Department of Health show that more than
32,000 abortions occurred in the Commonwealth in 2020, the latest year for
which statistics are available. “Imagine how many kindergarten classes of
children have been lost to abortion in PA. It’s mind-boggling,” Gallagher said.
In Pennsylvania, abortion
totals would be much higher were it not for the many pregnancy resource centers
which provide free counseling and material assistance for pregnant women facing
challenging circumstances. Pennsylvania’s state-assisted Pregnancy and
Parenting Support Program offers true alternatives and options to women in
their time of need.
“No pregnant woman in Pennsylvania should feel as if she is alone.
Pregnancy help centers stand ready to offer no-cost assistance and the
emotional support every pregnant woman deserves,” Gallagher added.
As I joined with people from around the country in a spirited rendition of God Bless America, a feeling of intense gratitude swept over me.
This was the first time I had sung the beloved hymn in the post-Roe era. The song took on a new meaning, as I reflected on the fact that the worst decision in the history of American jurisprudence had been swept away on a tide of sound judicial reason. This is the moment I had been awaiting for decades—when our nation finally would be free of the tyranny of Roe.
I had prayed each day for years for this victory—boldly claiming that it would happen in my lifetime. The thought that any grandchildren I might have in the future would be post-Roe babies sent my spirit soaring.
I realize that much work remains to be done to protect precious preborn babies and their mothers from harm throughout the country—including the Commonwealth in which I live, Pennsylvania. But the fact that the decision on abortion policy now rests with the people, through their duly-elected representatives in the states, fills me with awe. God bless America indeed.
I am quite used to talking about life issues, even debating them with those whose views differ from my own. I just don’t usually do it in the grocery store. With a soon-to-be 8th grader.
Yet, there I was, in the
coffee aisle, talking big topics with
my friend’s grandson, who we’ll call Kevin.
I was delighted to bump into the two of them and chat for a bit. Before saying our goodbyes, Kevin asked me where I worked and what I did. He listened and then politely informed me that unlike his grandmother and me, he is “pro-choice.”
He went on to explain that a woman who is a victim of rape or incest should not be forced to carry and birth a baby. Knowing Kevin, I was sure this was coming from a place of compassion. He felt deep sorrow for women enduring such trauma and believed that continuing a pregnancy in those circumstances would only make the situation worse.
I sensed from his pause and steady gaze that he expected me to respond.
I smiled at him, thankful
that he was willing to listen. I gently asked
him if he has ever met anyone conceived from rape or from incest. “No.”
I told him that I have, and that I could never look at them and say they weren’t deserving of life because of the manner in which they were conceived. I pointed out that the perpetrators of such crimes, if caught and convicted get jail time, but the innocent child brought into existence gets a much harsher sentence in abortion: death.
There was much more I could say, especially about whether choosing life over abortion helps women to heal, but left it at that. I could see he was thinking it over. I invited him to reach out to me anytime he has a question and that I would be happy to hear him out and dialogue.
It wasn’t long. A few
minutes later, as I worked my way through the meat section, Kevin was
back. He had more questions he wanted me
to address, eager to hear how I would respond.
What about children born into poverty?
Or a dire pre-natal diagnosis?
What about when the mother’s life is in danger?
For a good 20 minutes we talked. I answered each question while shoppers careened their carts around us. Who knows what bits and pieces were overheard?
I said it was wrong to impose our personal standards of “a worthwhile life” onto others. Surely, people born poor or with a disability or in foster care are glad to be alive. We should not consider their lives less valuable than ours.
Instead, we should do our best as a society to reduce suffering to the extent that we can rather than eliminate humans who suffer. If we choose to eliminate everyone who might experience suffering at some point in their life, who should live?
With regard to a dire prenatal diagnosis I pointed out that even in this modern age, doctors and tests sometimes are wrong. But even if a diagnosis is correct, does a child not deserve a chance to be born, to be held and loved by his parents, to receive medical intervention, to be treated with compassion and dignity? Why must he be killed in utero?
I also shared that due to modern medical practices, rarely is a pregnant woman’s life in jeopardy, but if that situation does arise, it is usually later in pregnancy. At that point an abortion is far more threatening to the mother’s life than delivering the child prematurely and striving to save both lives.
We covered several other topics, including death with “dignity.” It was an intense conversation.
To his credit, Kevin
listened and nodded, displaying a maturity and civility that seems to be lost
on this issue. He never once interrupted me but thoughtfully listened to all I
had to offer, sometimes asking follow-up questions. I again told him to stay in touch and let me
know if he wants to talk again. He
extended his hand and warmly shook mine, thanking me for my time and
As I headed for the dairy section, I marveled at this young man and our exchange, wishing I could replicate the conversation in every supermarket in the country. I don’t know exactly what Kevin believes now about abortion, but I believe to some extent he was enlightened. And his openness was encouraging.
Perhaps this is a good model for all of us. So often we are afraid of talking about abortion for fear of offending, disagreeing, arguing. Let us have the courage to engage with others and the wisdom to have productive, civil discourse that sheds more light than heat. Perhaps in this way, one conversation at a time, we can change minds and hearts and ultimately, the culture.