The Law and Life Summit met this week in a nearby convention center. I was one of a few non-Catholics in attendance. I have learned from Catholics and respect the deep commitment they have to life.
The conference opened with Rev. Frank Pavone (Priests for Life) participating in a dialogue. He explained the history leading up to the Roe v. Wade decision. He also gave the important points to know about the Dobbs case.
One of the issues that came up several times with different speakers was the way a veil of legality has given cover for abortion. How many women (or parents of minor daughters) consented to abortion because it was legal, therefore acceptable? Will the wounds of that decision re-open?
The tone of the meeting was: be sensitive, be kind, be helpful, be truthful.
Karen Garret (Chief Culture Officer with Heroic Media) gave advice about the use of language as we move forward supporting life. Here are some suggestions. We should say: unexpected pregnancy instead of unplanned pregnancy, preborn baby instead of unborn baby, Pregnancy Help Center instead of crisis pregnancy center. When talking with a woman who has had an abortion, she has experienced an abortion or has lost a child to abortion.
Janet Morana has written a book for teens, Everything You Need to Know About Abortion. Morana includes her testimony of faith. She discusses contraceptives and their role leading up to abortion. She lists the Supreme Court Cases that preceded Roe v. Wade. I didn’t know that there was a Supreme Court Case supporting the birth control pill for unmarried women (Eisenstadt v. Baird). I learned a little more about the lawyer who brought the Jane Roe case to the Supreme Court. At the back of the book, Morana has an extensive list of pro-life groups.
Like the author I was a teen when the birth control pill was released and a young adult when abortion was legalized nationwide. I will never forget the shock I felt as a nurse, when a young woman was admitted to the labor/delivery unit for a saline induction (abortion). The baby was seven months gestation. This was just after Roe v. Wade in 1973.
Our culture has been deeply affected by the sexual revolution, affirmed by court decisions. We have the opportunity now to review our history and find a better way forward.