E very year at this time , tens of thousands of people converge on the nation's capitol to show their support or opposition for one of the most divisive political, social and religious issues of our time. The U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe V. Wade which legalized a woman's right to choose, was handed down 40 years ago this week.
B ishop Robert Cunningham of the Syracuse Catholic Diocese will lead a contingent of about 600 local people to the "March For Life" in Washington D.C.. "The tide is turning." Bishop Cunningham told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon, "Young people are becoming more and more concerned about life and how sacred it is. So I think there's a definite impact."
N ot all religious leaders agree with Bishop Cunningham's position on Roe v. Wade. The Concerned Clergy for Choice encompasses a wide variety of religious leaders from across the nation, including Rabbi Dennis Ross of Albany. "We're pastors, We provide counseling to women and families facing medical decisions. Our experience demonstrates the wisdom in making sure the woman can come to her own decision about pregnancy. Politicians and other religious leaders shouldn't be barging into her private life." Rabbi Ross said.
40 years ago Bishop Cunningham was a young priest just starting out. He has witnessed the impact of Roe V. Wade on the national debate over abortion. "I don't see any middle ground. Life is the greatest gift and it's our first right. If we don't have the right to life, what else do we have?"
Rabbi Ross says, "I t's a really complicated question. I think a decision about a pregnancy is best left to the woman."
B ishop Cunningham is predicting more than a half million people will show up at the March for Life on Friday.