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Whether Roe v. Wade gets overturned or not, be beacons of love

Kathryn Jean Lopez“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each state from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”

A friend cried reading the closing words of the leaked draft of the majority opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that, if it holds, overthrows Roe v. Wade, the case that ushered in our abortion regime in the United States. It’s not shocking that the Supreme Court is ready to do so. But it’s amazing to see in print.

It’s a real blow to our system of government, frankly, that someone entrusted with a job at the Supreme Court presumably leaked the text. If someone was looking to manipulate the Supreme Court and change the decision, we can only pray that the leak and reaction to it will change nothing. The chief justice and the Supreme Court should not give in to bullies.

For those of us who will give thanks to God for the end of Roe v. Wade, this moment is a challenge to us. What more will we do to make sure that women know that they don’t have to abort their babies when circumstances aren’t ideal? We need to inundate our communities with information about the resources available. Start with the low-hanging fruit — church bathrooms, a sign outside the parish. Are you involved in your local women’s care center? Do people know that you are? Do the young women in your life know that you would be loving if she wound up pregnant outside of marriage? I so often fear, sometimes especially when praying outside abortion clinics, that people simply see our opposition, but not our love for women and babies and families. The end of Roe demands we find creative ways to communicate that love to the people around us.

Vicki Thorn, the founder of Project Rachel — really, the founding mother of all post-abortion healing ministry — recently died unexpectedly after a lifetime of tremendous service. She was humble and remarkably approachable. One of the Sisters of Life who knew her well described her to me as radiating motherhood. You were drawn to her, to trust her. I’m not the first to imagine all the women — and men — she helped over the decades of her work welcoming her into heaven. Please add her to your prayers, because we all need prayers when we die, even those we consider living saints. And also pray about what you and I can do to pick up where she left off. We all have people in our lives who have been hurt by abortion. They may not talk about it. But think, does the way we talk about abortion pour salt into their wounds?

Recently, you may have seen two women in Washington, D.C., getting their hands on the remains of aborted babies outside an abortion clinic. I’ve seen the boxes in New York many a time. Dead babies are considered mere medical waste. I sobbed the first time I witnessed it. This happens in America, and no one even notices many times. On a busy New York street, if there’s not someone praying, these children are not even acknowledged for what they are — dead babies, more casualties of the callousness of abortion in America.

If this draft opinion stands — or the chief justice writes another opinion for the lead — abortion won’t be over in America. The Supreme Court would have righted a gravely evil wrong, but a nearly half-century of abortion has been a poison in our midst, and the wreckage doesn’t disappear with a Supreme Court decision. And, of course, in states like New York and California, there will be some competition for the best abortion destination.

Now is the time for a recommitment to the Gospel of Life. Break out Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium Vitae and consider what it means for you and your life. Do the people in your life see you as a beacon of love, as they did Vicki Thorn? We need to be a shelter for those hurt by Roe. Its damage doesn’t end with the Dobbs’ opinion. We need to begin again as Easter people, showing the way to the hope of life, even where there has been death.

Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and editor-at-large of National Review.

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