How many family trees have been severed because of Roe v. Wade?

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

Editor’s note. This look back at what appeared in NRL News Today one year ago today was one of the most popular posts of 2020.

A lovely photo came up as a memory on my Facebook page. It depicts a young man and woman, both dressed in white, smiling into the wind which is blowing the bride’s veil. The couple is a portrait of happiness and optimism, beauty, and bravery. They are my parents on their wedding day.

This weekend marks my parents’ anniversary. I wish for all the world I could celebrate with them. But they have both passed away—my father first, followed by my mother five years later. Not a day goes by when I do not think of them and the powerful imprint they both made on my life.

If they had been conceived in another era, they could have easily been abortion statistics. My father was the sixth of seven children, born into a poor immigrant family. His father, who had come to the U.S. from Italy, was a barber by trade, trying to support a half-dozen children in trying economic times.

My mother was born to an older couple, also facing highly challenging financial circumstances. The family disintegrated after debilitating illness struck both parents, leaving my mother to be raised by a family friend.

Both my parents, in their own way, had to beat the odds. But beat them they did, raising two girls who would both serve as valedictorians for their high school classes.

They were good people, faithful people, who might never had made an appearance in the world—if they had been conceived after Roe v. Wade, the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling which legalized abortion for any reason during all nine months of pregnancy.

What inspiration has the world missed—because of Roe? What family trees have been severed, because of one outrageous court ruling? What wedding photos are missing from Facebook feeds—because a group of seven men denied the right to life for more than 62 million Americans—and counting?

In celebrating my parents’ anniversary this weekend, I will be celebrating not only their long-lasting marriage, but life itself—in all its complex beauty. 

It’s one of the many lessons they taught me—often without saying a word.