Like everyone else I knew, no one expected the US Supreme Court’s case Roe v Wade to legalize abortion in 1973. I was shocked when the Court legalized abortion with virtually no restrictions during the first trimester stating:
“(a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman’s attending physician. Pp. 163, 164.
(b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health. Pp. 163, 164.” (Emphasis added)
It wasn’t until much later that I learned about the Doe v Bolton case (decided at the same time as Roe) that expanded the definition of “health”, stating that the “medical judgment (for abortion) may be exercised in the light of all factors–physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age–relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.” (Emphasis added)
That redefinition of a woman’s health opened the expansion of abortion.
Unfortunately, those of us who expressed horror about these decisions were quickly derided by those who supported legalized abortion. Even those of us who were medical professionals and knew better felt intimidated.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH ABORTION AND ITS EFFECTS
When I became a mother a few years after the Roe v Wade decision and read the prenatal development pamphlet given to expectant mothers, my heart ached for those mothers who chose abortion without such crucial information.
Eventually, I had a daughter born with Down Syndrome and a severe heart defect as well as another daughter who became pregnant at 18. I could understand the fear and desperation underlying an abortion decision and I was determined to help in some way by joining the pro-life movement.
Because of the pro-life movement, I have been better able to help desperate mothers, children with disabilities and their families as well as other people in danger of being seen as “inconvenient”, “unwanted” or “better off dead”.
THE ABORTION TRAJECTORY AND HOW IT IS CHANGING
After the Roe decision, it didn’t take long before “abortion rights” to begin expanding and now we have at least 8 states legislating abortion on demand throughout pregnancy as well as at least 19 states allowing abortionists to leave babies to die who survive abortion.
Most recently, pro-abortion Democrats have blocked efforts to get Congress to vote on the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” and in my home state of Missouri, the last Planned Parenthood clinic is still fighting closure over its health violations.
But despite all this activity on the pro-abortion side, many states have enacted strong protections for mothers and their unborn babies. Even the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute acknowledges that:
“In 2019, conservative state legislators raced to enact an unprecedented wave of bans on all, most or some abortions, and by the end of the year, 25 new abortion bans had been signed into law”
And an encouraging new Marist/Knights of Columbus poll shows that a majority of Americans (65%) would vote for candidates who back abortion restrictions and nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose abortion if the child will be born with Down Syndrome.
In addition, there are more pregnancy help centers than abortion clinics to help women and their unborn babies.
As abortions are decreasing and the abortion movement is exposed for its radical goals, it appears that more and more people are seeing the truth about abortion and the pro-life movement. Personally, I have never felt more encouraged since the Roe v Wade decision 47 years ago and especially by the inspiring words of President Donald Trump, the first sitting president to address the annual March For Life in Washington, D.C.:
“We cannot know what our citizens yet unborn will achieve. The dreams they will imagine. The masterpieces they will create. The discoveries they will make. But we know this: every life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting….
Together, we will defend this truth all across our magnificent land. We will set free the dreams of our people. And with determined hope, we look forward to all of the blessings that will come from the beauty, talent, purpose, nobility, and grace of every American child.”