Today is, of course, the 37th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision which, along with the companion decision Doe v. Bolton, legalized abortion in American through all nine months of pregnancy. Few people realize that because of the Supreme Court's action, our abortion laws are far more liberal than most of Europe's laws; further, any restrictions on abortion that might enjoy widespread popularity (though Catholics should always make it clear that our goal is the eradication of abortion and all direct attacks on innocent human life from conception to natural death), such as absolute bans on abortion beyond certain points in a pregnancy, are not legally possible in the light of Roe.
Today is also the birthday of my own personal pro-life hero.
This woman raised her family at a time when the feminist movement was in its heyday. A woman who stayed home to raise her own children was a traitor to the cause, in their eyes. There was no more worthless woman than what the feminists sneeringly called a "housewife," lampooning her efforts in the popular culture and making sure that girls in school learned that having a mom who "didn't work" was a disgrace.
My pro-life hero didn't care about that. An independent-minded and intelligent woman, she tackled the business of raising her growing family with courage, determination, and plenty of energy. She made many sacrifices so that her nine children could attend Catholic schools--but then when she realized how much heresy and how little Catholicism they were learning, especially (sadly) when it came to issues like contraception, she became a homeschooling mother instead, at a time when homeschooling was in a much more legally nebulous state, and when there was relatively little support for it.
My pro-life hero set a good example for her children, too, by attending various marches and protests, doing some sidewalk counseling, and always modeling a pro-life ethic to her children. All nine of them have remained practicing Catholics who accept the Church's teaching about the sanctity of life and the evil of abortion and artificial contraception. My hero has seen five of her children marry (so far) and start families of their own; she has nineteen grandchildren, one of whom shares her birthday! Another child has just taken her final vows and is a Sister Servant at Casa Maria.
My pro-life hero is my mother. Won't you join me today in wishing her a very happy and blessed birthday?