Hope rises that abortion ruling will be overturned

A march to the South Steps of the State Capitol Jan. 26 followed a pro-life Mass in Topeka where one of the speakers was Fr. Bernie Gorges who spoke about the Value Them Both Amendment. (Photos courtesy Todd Habiger/The Leaven)

(CNS) – A renewed spirit of hope reverberated through events nationwide that marked the 49th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

From Vermont to Los Angeles, thousands of people were buoyed by the prospect that the court would reverse its 1973 Roe decision by upholding a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks.

The ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is expected in early summer.

In Montpelier, Vermont, hundreds of people bundled in parkas and boots against temperatures that hovered near zero during the annual Rally for Life at the Vermont State House Jan. 22. Organizers described the gathering as being among the largest of its kind in the state capital.

Mary Beerworth, executive director of the Vermont Right to Life Committee, said that while it is impossible to predict what the Supreme Court may decide, “pro-lifers feel that finally the spotlight is shining on the humanity of the unborn and discussions now center on how early little hearts are beating.”

She cautioned, however, that even if Roe v. Wade is reversed the decision to allow or disallow abortion will return to each state.

Hope filled the air at D.C. march

Bonnie Toombs said there was a sense of hope and anticipation among those taking part in this year’s march.

“Hope not only that with the June decision of the Supreme Court coming and the possibility of overturning Roe V Wade, but hope in coming together that we draw support and energy from one another in new ways,” she said.

The director of the diocesan Respect Life and Social Justice Office said the hope that 2022 will be a historic year in the cause for life was echoed throughout the pilgrimage. “There will be much to do at the state level if Roe is overturned, and our pilgrims heard a presentation on Value them Both with action plans for all to do as they return home.”

The chaperones were amazed at the depth of the faith of the teens, Toombs said. “The teens said it was amazing to see so many others from all across the country with like-minded thinking, standing up for the unborn.”

The Diocese of Wichita sponsored 11 buses this year that carried 441 pilgrims.