40 years after Roe v. Wade: Matt's Memo

NY Times front page from day Supreme Court legalized abortion and LBJ died.

The headline across the front page of the New York Times on January 23, 1972 announced the death of the 36th President of the United States Lyndon Johnson. It was just weeks after the death of the 33rd President Harry Truman. Two men of different times. The sub headline on the paper that morning read "High Court Rules Abortions Legal the First 3 Months". 40 years later most of us do not recall the passing of the two prominent politicians, but the nation does pause to remember the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade.

Thursday a large group of Catholics led by Bishop Robert Cunningham will bus to Washington D.C. to participate in the annual March for Life. The bishop says he will pray for the unborn during the trip. In preparing for the journey the bishop said, "Every life is sacred from the first moment of conception until natural death. We will pray for the unborn, we will pray for a conversion of hearts and we will pray for our country."

On the other hand we heard tonight from Karen Decrow. The Syracuse attorney was the national leader of NOW in the years immediately following the Supreme Court decision. Decrow recalled the days before Roe v. Wade when abortions were illegal and women's health was jeopardized. She told our Dora Scheidell tonight, "If we don't have the right to control our health and our bodies then what rights do we have?"

We no longer see the intensity of protest from women's rights groups fighting for control over their healthcare. We also don't typically see the Operation Rescue or Planned Parenthood marches by anti-abortion groups. During this one week we remember both sides of the cultural, religious and political debate. There's a reason it is described as a landmark decision.

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