Some personal thoughts on Roe v Wade at age 47


A week or two ago many Americans commemorated the 46th anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s famous (or better, infamous) Roe v Wade ruling, the ruling in which the Court “found” that the US Constitution contains a right to abortion. Of course the Court didn’t really discover this right in the Constitution, for it isn’t there.

Pro-abortion people, especially those connected with Planned Parenthood, commemorated this tragic event by rejoicing. Pro-life people, especially those who participated in the Washington, D.C., “March for Life,” commemorated the date by renewing their hope that Roe will eventually be overturned and that the average American will recognize, as he or she once did, that abortion is homicide.

There is some reason for the pro-life people to be optimistic. Thanks to two Trump appointments (Gorsuch and Kavanaugh), it appears that the Court now has a majority of justices who believe that the Constitution says what it says; it doesn’t say something else; hence it doesn’t say that there is a right to abortion. And thanks to sonograms, it is becoming more and more difficult for young people to believe that the unborn baby is not a baby.

Catholics are of course pro-life — except for those millions and millions of Catholics who are not. For example, Andrew Cuomo, the “Catholic” governor of New York, who recently signed into law an act that will assure, even if the Supreme Court overturns Roe, that abortion will be available in the Empire State for all nine months of pregnancy.

We should keep in mind that the pro-abortion movement is part of a much larger movement — I mean an atheistic (or virtually atheistic) movement that is out to destroy Christianity. The kind of Christianity that accepts the doctrines expressed in the Nicene Creed along with traditional Christian values.

“I don’t mean the kind of Christianity that feels free to reject those essential Christian teachings that are incompatible with fashionable present day beliefs.

This movement to destroy Christianity includes many sub-movements: the pro-sexual freedom movement, the abortion movement, the gay-lesbian-bisexual movement, the transgender movement, the euthanasia movement — and who knows what anti-Christianity movements that might turn up tomorrow. Our side is making progress on the abortion front, but we are losing on all the other fronts.

A factor that inspires the enemy with confidence is their belief that a great impersonal force called “history” is moving inevitably in a direction they desire. President Obama, for instance, often spoke about being “on the right side of history.” Where, according to them, is “history” going? It is moving toward an ideal society in which everybody will be sexually free, in which all contraception and abortion will be paid for by taxpayers, in which homosexual activity will be considered to be just as normal and natural as heterosexual activity, in which all boys and girls will be free to choose their gender instead of having it “assigned” to them by others, in which old people and very sick people will be encouraged to “do the right thing” by choosing to be euthanized, in which everybody will be free to amuse himself with “recreational” drugs of his or her choice — and in which almost nobody will believe in God or in Jesus Christ.

We can read all about in Aldous Huxley’s prophetic novel, “Brave New World.”

We must remind ourselves that there is no such thing as historical inevitability. Our aim should not be to get on “the right side of history.” Our aim should be to get on the right side of God and his moral law.

David Carlin is a recently retired CCRI professor of sociology and philosophy. He is also a former Democratic majority leader of the Rhode Island Senate. Over the past four decades he has written hundreds of articles for Catholic publications. He writes a column at The Catholic Thing.