The July 4th fireworks display at Bonanzaville this year seemed more spectacular than ever. Just 10 days prior, we learned Roe vs. Wade had been overturned, and I felt the occasion as a true celebration of that decision.
The news, a certain victory for freedom, marked the end of an errant law after a decades-long chokehold.
It is deeply significant that our U.S. Supreme Court has proclaimed that, nearly 50 years ago, its predecessors ruled wrongly on the matter of whom should be included in the first word of our country’s defining threesome: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
The morning of the news, I posted on Facebook: “Where were you when Roe vs. Wade was overturned?” and smiled at every answer, for each spoke of what pro-lifers have been working so hard to illuminate and better respect: life.
“I was nursing my daughter just after planting a garden with my other children,” the first one said. “Celebrating my first daughter’s birthday. I will never forget this day,” another friend shared. “At the Ruth Institute’s pro-life, pro-family conference with 150 strangers who just met, and all started singing ‘Amazing Grace,”” said another.
I was attending the National Federation of Press Women’s national conference in Fargo’s Radisson Hotel, listening to our keynote, Nicole Phillips, talk on kindness. Her topic reminded me that the monumental news, though joyous, demanded some restraint. I knew not all in my company were taking the news positively.
After lunch, I walked over to the south window of our third-level perch, and was seized by the view, for three stories down and straight ahead, I could see the Kopelman building, where I’d prayed so many Wednesdays for the end to abortion in North Dakota. That day was now clearly in sight.
Many Wednesdays prior, the tall hotel in which I was now standing hovered, just blocks from where we gathered with our Rosary beads and brochures, hoping to reach weary women reticently arriving for an abortion. “This will free you of a burden,” they were told. More Roe v. Wade opinion content
Soon, they would find themselves newly imprisoned in ways they hadn’t anticipated.
Their children were gone; they could do nothing to get them back now. Their “freedom” had been short-lived.
Roe was built on lies, just as Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of its prime promoters, divulged before his death. The illumination of that deceit can only be met with gladness.
The problems that bring women to abortion facilities haven’t disappeared, but we can now begin to have more honest, nuanced, life-giving conversations about them. We can begin to shine a light on services, largely hidden until now, that have been in place for decades to help such women.
After years of prayer, our nation can begin to heal from five decades of innocent bloodshed, and more fervently focus on helping families in a way that brings hope, rather than offering them a death sentence for their children.
Despite the hard work ahead, this is worth celebrating all summer and beyond.
[For the sake of having a repository for my newspaper columns and articles, I reprint them here, with permission, a week after their run date. The preceding ran in The Forum newspaper on July 18, 2022.]