Justice Ginsburg, RIP

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at the age of 87 after a long period of declining physical health. She had long been the Court’s most outspoken and passionate defender of abortion.

She’s in the hands of a merciful God. Perhaps she’s now picking up the thread of a conversation with her fellow Justice and firm friend, the late Antonin Scalia.

I can’t think of any judicial figure who has done more over the past couple of decades to inspire me and spur me on. She wouldn’t quit. She was awesomely, incredibly tenacious. I’ll carry an indelible memory of her in the news, in robes and lacy jabot, gaunt from cancer but sharp of wit and mind.

She constantly, implacably rejected the right to life even as she promoted what by her lights were the rights of women. It’s one of history’s great ironies that she’ll go down as a women’s rights advocate, when her advocacy was clearly based on the assumption that no human being, male or female, had a right to live until granted one by someone else.

Even so, I think pro-life activists can learn from her.

Don’t live behind an intellectual or emotional moat. Have a life. Love your family. Cherish your friends.

Don’t let anyone else tell you you’re wrong when you know perfectly well there’s injustice going on.

Speak and write intelligently, persuasively, and without apology. That’s “and,” not “or.”

Don’t expect anyone to fight your battles for you. It’s fine and necessary, however, to cultivate allies to fight your battles with you.

Persist. Then persist some more.

A tall order, perhaps, but Justice Ginsburg was up for it. Can anyone defending life settle for less?

On the passing of an abortion provider

My local paper this morning carried the obituary of a physician who seems to have lived a long and happy life, who had a large and loving family, who was engaged in his community, and who had no regrets. He died peacefully in his sleep.

I noticed the name at the top of the obituary, and I was immediately carried back twenty-nine years, when the remains of aborted children were found in the Concord dump. It turned out that those remains had come from the medical practice of the physician whose death was reported today. The upshot of the appalling discovery was that the physician promised to arrange for disposal of future remains in a manner befitting medical waste.

Understandably, that incident went unmentioned in the formal obituary.  Continue reading “On the passing of an abortion provider”

Norma McCorvey, R.I.P.

A few days ago, Abby Johnson on her Facebook page called for prayers for Norma McCorvey, who was very ill. I am now hearing that McCorvey has died at age 69, having lived for 44 years in the shadow of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that bore her pseudonym.

McCorvey went public, affirming her real identity and refusing to embrace being “Jane Roe.” Eventually, in the midst of a tumultuous life, she repudiated the Court decision and became pro-life.

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On a visit to Texas last year, I went to Mass at a small chapel  in downtown Dallas. The pastor turned out to be the man who had ministered to McCorvey when she professed the Catholic faith. Rather than talk about her, he demurred: “Leave her alone. She’s been too much used.”

Too much used. The attorneys who represented her in Roe can take some credit for that. For the briefest of overviews about McCorvey and the court case that thrust her into American history, read Live Action’s post from earlier this year, 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade.

I think of her as one of the voices to trust whenever I hear an abortion advocate say “trust women.”

“I realized that my case, which legalized abortion on demand, was the biggest mistake of my life….but now I’m dedicated to spreading the truth about preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to natural death.”

“[I]t doesn’t make any difference what religion you are, or how young you are or how old you are, I think if they get up and go to these abortion mills, and stand there – and they don’t have to do anything, they can just stand there and pray, I think that would make a lot of difference. We have to be seen in numbers.”

May she rest in peace.

 

Mildred Jefferson remembered, courtesy of The Radiance Foundation

This very brief video tribute to about the late Dr. Mildred Jefferson was produced by the Radiance Foundation and distributed to mark the anniversary of Dr. Jefferson’s passing. Take a minute and be inspired.

 

Remembering Russell Pond

A mentor and neighbor and friend has died, and I feel his passing keenly because we go back so far. Russell Pond was one of the first people I met when I moved to New Hampshire many years ago. He was a fearless pro-life ambassador, and he would walk up to anyone to start a conversation about respecting the right to life.

I was lucky enough to be one of the people he approached. The circumstances were downright odd, in my opinion – but not in Russ’s. To him, there were no odd circumstances, only new opportunities to share his message.

Continue reading “Remembering Russell Pond”