Browse Our Articles & Podcasts

The End of Roe: First Responses from Pro-Life Leaders

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case that overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions that decriminalized abortion in all 50 states, ending what Justice Byron White called a “an exercise in raw judicial power” that has since resulted in the deaths of over 63 million children in the womb.

Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion that was supported by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney-Barrett, noted that Roe was wrongly decided based on inaccurate information and data not related to the U.S. Constitution. This marks an end to leftist judicial activism and a return to decision-making based on the Constitution.

With Memorare Media I spoke with three individuals on the frontlines of the pro-life movement about their reactions to today’s ruling.

Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the U.S. The organization’s goal is to use all legal tools available tools to expose abortion abuses, demand enforcement, save innocent lives, and build an Abortion-Free America.

The organization expressed hope and “rejoiced” over today’s ruling.

“For the first time in nearly 50 years, Roe is no longer the law of the land. A great injustice has been corrected, and that gives us new hope for our nation and a reason to rejoice,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Half the states will now become abortion free and millions of innocent lives will be spared from the barbaric practice of abortion. This is a human rights victory beyond all others and justifies the decades of tireless work by selfless pro-life individuals and organizations, including Operation Rescue, which have worked and prayed for decades for this day.”

In addition to serving as president of Operation Rescue, Mr. Newman serves on boards for a number of pro-life groups and was a founding board member for the Center for Medical Progress, the organization that has made headlines with its hard-hitting videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s participation in the illegal trafficking of fetal remains.

His work has permanently closed hundreds of abortion mills, led dozens of abortionists leave the killing industry, spared countless babies from abortion, and is changing lives through the public offering of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In Wichita, Kansas, worked for eight years to close the nation’s largest late-term abortion clinic.

Newman believes that former President Donald Trump deserves significant credit for today’s ruling by the Supreme Court.

“If not for President Donald J. Trump and his three Supreme Court appointees, this ruling would not have been possible,” said Newman. “I will be forever grateful to President Trump for his courage to stand strong against the evils of abortion. He will take his place in history as the most pro-life President ever. His legacy will be the millions of lives yet to be conceived that will have the right to be born, flourish, and contribute to this nation’s greatness, thanks to his efforts.”

In 2020, Trump became the first sitting United States President to attend the March for Life, held annually during the frigid month of January in Washington, DC.

In May, an unprecedented leak from the Supreme Court offered a sort of advanced indication that today’s ruling was imminent. Since that time, pro-choice leaders have scrambled to do anything within their power to halt the decision.

“We must be ready to stand as a united front when the decision comes down,” Vice President Kamala Harris told a group of abortion rights leaders in a videoconference.

Harris further alleged that she had heard from privacy experts about how law enforcement could use period tracking apps to monitor for abortions and the possibility that embryo destruction could become more difficult for those who have in vitro fertilization.

So-called “devout Catholic” President Joe Biden has been hesitant to reveal what executive actions he is considering in response to the ruling.

“There’s some executive orders I could employ, we believe. We’re looking at that right now,” he said in early June during an interview late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.

Newman, like other pro-life advocates, stands ready to fight the pro-choice movement every step of the way.

“Any attempt by the current pro-abortion administration to undermine the Dobbs decision must be aggressively resisted,” Newman added. “But for now, we focus on building an Abortion-Free America one state at a time.”

Father Stephen Imbarrato is a pro-life activist who has made regular appearances on EWTN and is one of the leaders of the Red Rose Rescue movement. Fr Imbarrato believes we can end preborn child killing peacefully, yet decisively.

Imbarrato stands as a courageous leader on the front lines of the pro-life movement he is revered as a man of “more action, less talk.” In 2018, he was arrested while ministering to women inside an abortion center.

During the sentencing, Father Imbarrato offered a profound statement.

“When do the babies get their day in court?” Imbarrato asked. “Today they do! Judge, you will have to send me to jail!”

He was found guilty of trespassing and sentenced to one week in jail.

For Imbarrato, the fight for the sanctity of life is personal. The priest is a parent grieving the children he lost decades ago to abortion.

A 2016 article written by LifeSite News noted that, “long before he was ordained or became a seminarian, he got his girlfriend pregnant and told her ‘it would be best if you had the abortion.’”

The article continues:

He eventually would find his calling as a parish priest and pro-life advocate, but his child never left his mind.

One day, while counseling young women on the sidewalk outside the same abortion facility where his girlfriend had aborted years earlier, he became convicted by God over his role in the long-ago abortion.

With his bishop’s permission, he contacted his old flame through mutual friends, and they agreed to meet. ‘I apologized to her and took full responsibility for talking her into having the abortion,’ he told the crowd of young people. ‘Tears came to her eyes, and I knew this was what she needed to hear.’

Then she told him something he needed to hear.

‘I said, “I feel blessed that at least we have a baby in Heaven,”‘ Fr. Imbarrato said.

She said, “We have two babies in Heaven.”

I asked, “There were two abortions?”

She said, “No, I never told you. It was twins.”

Then I realized she had been struggling with that secret all her life, for 35 years,’ he said.

Father Imbarrato named their unborn babies Mary and Thomas.

Today, the “Protest Priest” as he is affectionately known celebrates, while mindful of the atrocity of abortion and aware of the work ahead.

“Rejoice, Lament, Rejoice,” said Father Imbarrato. “This decision finally exclaims there is no constitutional right to abortion in this country – there never has been! Yet we remain one of the most barbaric countries in the world, where killing babies till the day of birth is still legal. However, we are also now much closer to the day when the SCOTUS will have to recognize constitutional personhood from conception. It will be years, not decades.”

Students for Life America, an organization heralded as “the Pro-Life Generation” has been working tirelessly for this historic day. The organization filed an amicus brief with Human Coalition Action detailing that Roe is “egregiously wrong,” has harmed women and minority communities, and is pushed on women who don’t need abortion to thrive.

The organization also launched a “See Me Now Ultrasound Live Bus Tour,” endorsed by Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, that began in Jackson, Mississippi, and ended at the Supreme Court.

Additionally, the organization has been actively engaged in numerous live events detailing plans for a Post-Roe America, along with leading pro-life activists and office holders that will champion a post-Roe strategy of protecting life in service and in law.

“The injustice of Roe has finally come to an end,” said SFLA’s Kristan Hawkins. “The momentum to protect life in law is finally on the side of innocent preborn children and their mothers who deserve our help. Roe v. Wade has been a cancer growing in our Constitution resulting in 63 million plus deaths. Today, the court has cut it out, and that’s a win. Now we get back to building up a health society, affirming life for women and their children, born and preborn.”

Students for Life America is planning “Life is Louder” events at state capitals in more than 30 states with hopes of organizing the event in all 50 states.

As news broke that the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling was announced, the Archdiocese of Washington had not yet issued a statement from His Eminence Cardinal Wilton Gregory.

In late May, when San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone issued a letter banning her from reception of holy communion, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese issued a response that the ban would not be imposed in the Archdiocese of Washington DC.

The statement read:

We have not been responding to inquiries on this topic because Cardinal Gregory’s position has not changed from what he has said in the past… Cardinal Gregory has no new comment about the issue of Catholic politicians receiving Communion. The actions of Archbishop Cordileone are his decision to make in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Cardinal Gregory has not instructed the priests of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to refuse Communion to anyone.

In June 2020, Cardinal Gregory sponsored an event outside the White House to protest the death of George Floyd. However, the first African American Cardinal has nothing to say about the fact that in New York City alone, thousands more African American babies are aborted each year than born alive.

As the decision regarding the sanctity of life returns to each individual state, there is still significant work ahead for the pro-life movement, not only within each state government, but within the Church.

A March 2022 survey conducted by Pew Research Center indicates that 13% of Catholics believe abortion should be legal in all cases, no exceptions. At first glance, one might conclude that faithful are pro-life. However, only 10% of Catholics believe abortion should be illegal in all cases, no exceptions. As for the rest? 43% think abortion should be “mostly legal” while 32% think abortion should be “mostly illegal.”

Though Catholics appear to be lukewarm or confused concerning the sanctity of life, anger from pro-choice terrorists is almost exclusively at the Catholic Church.

In response to the SCOTUS leak from early May, radical extremist group Ruth Sent Us tweeted:

“Whether you’re a ‘Catholic for Choice,’ ex-Catholic, of other or no faith, recognize that six extremist Catholics set out to overturn Roe. Stand at or in a local Catholic Church Sun May 8.”

Since that time a handful of incidents have occurred in which members of Ruth Sent Us have disrupted the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Extreme backlash and protesting from so-called “pro-choice advocates” are already unfolding on the streets of Washington DC.

Attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers, the homes of pro-life advocates, and churches are only expected to increase in the weeks ahead.

As we celebrate this historic milestone in defense of the sanctity of life, we must now be prepared to defend that sanctity even more fiercely. The days ahead will require all pro-life Americans to have the courage of Newman, Imbarrato, Hawkins, and others who are stand on the frontlines, willing to give everything to see this day come to fruition.

Today, however, we take time to celebrate and give thanks to God for this milestone.

Popular on OnePeterFive

Share to...