Op-ed: Roe v. Wade a tragic ruling

With the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Monday, the legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation encourages “women and children to be freed from the negative effects of legalized abortion.”

By Maria Gallagher

As the nation marks the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it appears that the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling is showing its age.

An article published in the Washington Times newspaper cited a 2016 study showing the majority of millennials — young adults born in the 1980s and ’90s — oppose most abortions. Even those who support legal abortion admit that the vast majority of people who participate in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. are under the age of 30. The Huffington Post website concedes that pro-life pregnancy resource centers vastly outnumber abortion facilities in the U.S.

And then there is the testimony of the women of the Silent No More Awareness campaign, who had abortions, but who now regret them. Consider Wendy from Pennsylvania, who had an abortion when she was 19 years old.

“It took 35 years of my life to reconcile that one foolish mistake,” Wendy wrote. “Remember the abortion lie that promised to help me ‘forget about my baby and go on with my life like nothing happened?’

“Now, after 35 gut-wrenching years, I can go on only because I found forgiveness and peace in the truth — not the lie.”

Or consider this plea from a post-abortive woman named Jill from Missouri: “If I could help just one person change their mind and not follow through with the abortion, then it would have all been worth it, and that’s why I am silent no more.”

Even some advocates of legal abortion have suggested that Roe’s days are numbered. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has called the decision “heavy-handed judicial activism,” according to the Washington Examiner newspaper. Legal scholar Laurence Tribe noted, “Behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.”

Edward Lazarus, a former clerk to the late Justice Harry Blackmun — the justice who authored Roe — has stated, “Justice Blackmun’s opinion provides essentially no reasoning in support of its holding. And in the…years since Roe’s announcement, no one has produced a convincing defense of Roe on its own terms.”

Estimates based on figures provided by the Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, indicate 60 million unborn children have died from abortion since the 1973 Supreme Court ruling.

Countless mothers have been left to grieve children lost to abortion.

Research indicates as many as 60 percent of abortions are coerced, meaning that boyfriends, husbands, parents or others are pressuring women into abortions they do not want. The advent of 4D ultrasound has provided a window to the womb, showing the humanity of the unborn child. It is hard to argue against a right to life to a baby who is smiling or giving a thumbs up in an ultrasound video.

The facts are clear — Roe v. Wade was a terribly ill-conceived ruling that has ended an immense number of innocent lives, harmed women and devastated families. It is long past time for Roe to be tossed on the ash heap of history, and for women and children to be freed from the negative effects of legalized abortion. ••

Maria Gallagher is legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.