In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision that, if it were made today, would be unthinkable and even appalling. Seven of the nine Justices decided that a black slave named Dred Scott was not a person and nothing more than the property of his owner. They consequently ruled that he had no rights as a citizen and no protection under the U.S. Constitution. It took eleven years, but the Supreme Court’s decision was finally overturned in 1868 with the passage of the 13th Amendment that outlawed slavery and the 14th Amendment that granted citizenship to all those born in the United States, regardless of color.
On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court made another poor decision that was even more appalling. That Court struck down state anti-abortion laws, deciding that a woman’s right to privacy gives her the right to end the life of her unborn child. In the Court’s opinion, that unborn child was not a person as defined by the U.S. Constitution and was therefore not entitled to or guaranteed even the right to life.
As in the Dred Scott case, they ruled that the unborn baby was not a person and thus was nothing more than the property of the mother. Therefore, the mother could choose along with her doctor whether the child lived or died. Someone would have to be willfully ignorant not to see the similarity between these two Supreme Court decisions.
The irony of the Court’s decision in Roe was that the year before, in 1972, the same court amended the Bald Eagle Protection Act (of 1940) and authorized fines up to $500,000 in addition to jail time for destroying an “unborn eagle” in its egg. The Supreme Court and the justices who serve on it are not infallible and have made decisions that needed to be corrected – and the Roe decision of 1973 is the most egregious and appalling of them.
Family Policy Alliance has been heavily involved in current efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade with the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case debated in the Supreme Court last month. This case is a challenge to Mississippi’s law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. Pro-life legal experts believe that there is legitimate reason to hope that the justices will return the issue of abortion to the states. That would mean that each state would then be responsible for regulating abortion and deciding the destiny of their unborn children.
Because of that very real possibility, we need to plan and work for a pro-life America as well as a pro-life Rhode Island after Roe. For more info, please visit https://familypolicyalliance.com/after-roe/
This year, I will be attending the National March for Life in our nation’s capital for the first time. Tyler Rowley has put together a 2-day bus trip to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., that is quick and affordable (January 20-21 at a cost of $125). Tyler is the founder and leader of Servants of Christ for Life, a very active Roman Catholic pro-life ministry here in Rhode Island. If you are interested in joining the group, there are still seats available. I would love to see as many as possible attend from Rhode Island. For more info, call Tyler at 401-290-7201 or email him: email@example.com
There is already talk of a bill to introduce taxpayer-funded abortion in Rhode Island. Please make it a matter of regular prayer that this bill will not see the light of day and that our state will once again recognize the value of every life!
For Faith and Family in RI,
Chairman, Board of Directors – Rhode Island
P.S. Please begin to pray The Battle lines are already being drawn and we can expect to see Pro-Abortion advocates out in force