Roe’s enduring legacy: Three women…three generations…three abortions

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

The impact of the devastating U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Roe v. Wade ripples through the generations.

I have often thought about the impact of Roe on families who lose children to abortion. An entire limb of the family tree is severed, meaning the loss of their children’s children and all their many descendants. But it doesn’t stop there.

Recently I came upon a tear-inducing testimony which illustrated another aspect of the painful legacy of Roe.

A woman named Jessie gave a profoundly moving talk at an online post-abortion healing conference. She spoke of her mother’s abortion of Jessie’s sibling, which passed on unhealed wounds to her.  Jessie, in turn, had an abortion, which had a negative impact on her daughter, who also ended up having an abortion.

Three women…three generations…three abortions. The perpetuation of the pain surges throughout the family. With over 61 million abortions, how many other families in the U.S. are struggling with a similar fate?

Jessie stressed the importance of women who have had abortions finding a way to “repurpose (their) pain” in an effort to break the abortion cycle. She mentioned that, while women seeking abortions may cite reasons such as financial struggle or relationship problems, the root cause of the abortion may rest in childhood.

That Roe has devastated families, there can be no doubt. But how often do we also consider the collateral damage—the women who are unable to fully grieve their aborted children and the surviving siblings of the souls lost to abortion? 

Their scars are invisible. They aren’t part of the tally, but their suffering is deep, real, enduring, and largely invisible.

What answers can we offer to counter this generational pattern? Most obvious is beginning at the beginning:  preventing abortions in the first place. 

It cannot be said often enough that when women are apprised of their life-affirming options, in a compassionate and supportive atmosphere, they are far less likely to select abortion as a “solution” to their problems. In loving the mother, we love the child—and all her progeny.