A Daring Prediction On Roe
By ALICIA COLON
The New York Sun
June 13, 2006
When the speaker at the podium, Stephen
Peroutka, predicted that Roe v. Wade would be overturned within three years, the
crowd at the Ball for Life roared with approval. I've been to quite a few
pro-life fund-raisers, but this was the first time that any speaker dared to set
a timetable for an end to the 1973 Supreme Court decision.
A last-minute surprise speaker, Senator
Brownback of Kansas, drew laughs when he said, "Here I am in the bluest of the
blue states. Dorothy, you're not in Kansas anymore." Because overturning Roe
would simply return abortion legislation to the states, the senator said he
recognized the difficulty of changing the abortion laws in New York. "But if it
happens here in New York," he said, "it will affect the whole world. Whenever
anything happens here in New York, millions follow."
He reminded the crowd that Russia is paying
dearly for its liberal abortion policy: It is now having to pay couples to have
babies. Japan also is struggling to replenish its population.
Still, the idea that the majority of New
Yorkers will ever be persuaded to support the pro-life position would make many
incredulous. Yet more and more of them from all walks of life are becoming
increasingly vocal in the defense of life. Why? "For the times, they are
A rookie Giants wide receiver, David Tyree,
was a guest speaker at the Ball for Life last Friday. He admitted that he was
not always a pro-lifer. "In fact, I made a lot of mistakes in my life, one in
particular that I sincerely regret and I promised I would never do that again,"
He then pledged his lifelong support for such
organizations as the Good Counsel Homes, for which the fund-raiser was held.
Christopher Bell and Father Benedict Groeschal co-founded the group, which
provides shelter for pregnant women and their children. One of the residents of
Good Counsel, Antoinese, related the moving story of her rescue last November,
when she was seven months pregnant, caring for her 4-year-old child, and had no
one to turn to.
Another guest at the bash was Bobby Schindler,
Terry Schiavo's brother, who received a standing ovation for his tireless fight
for his sister's life. Another warrior in that battle will be appearing at the
Lincoln Center campus of Fordham University, on the 12th floor of the Lowenstein
Building, at 5 p.m. today. Nat Hentoff, a self-proclaimed Jewish atheist,
libertarian, and unabashed pro-lifer - and the only real reason to continue
reading the Village Voice - will be introducing the author of "Defiant Birth:
Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics," Melinda Tankard Reist. She compiled the
inspiring stories of women who defied the calls to terminate their pregnancies
for a variety of health reasons.
Just glancing around the ballroom, I noticed
some members of the clergy and a few men wearing yarmulkes, but most noticeable
was the number of beautiful young people. There are more and more of them coming
to these events, and Mr. Peroutka, the chairman of the
National Pro-Life Action Center,
used their growing numbers to explain why he believes Roe v. Wade "is going
"Anyone born after 1973 is a survivor, for
they were born into a world where one out of four are aborted," he said. "That's
a higher casualty rate than any war. That's why you see thousands of them
marching for life in Washington, D.C., every year. They're survivors."
Another reason he sees for the imminent
downfall of Roe is that, unlike the established clergy, the priests and
ministers coming out of the seminaries today are geared for this pro-life
battle. After Father Pavone, founder of the Priests for Life, gave the
benediction, I overheard a man at the next table say to his dinner companion,
"The priests in my parish care more about other issues than being pro-life."
This started a fascinating discussion that raised questions about the New York
archdiocese's commitment to the pro-life movement.
"It's great that the priests are concerned
with education, immigration, gun control, and other issues, but we're not
compelled in our faith to act on them. But we are compelled to respect life,"
one man said. "It seems as if the archdiocese doesn't want to offend the liberal
New Yorkers who want to distance themselves from what they view as the religious
right. But this is just wrong."
I'm sure that Edward Cardinal Egan is as
committed to the pro-life movement as Father Pavone. He needs to make sure that
others in the archdiocese also respect the movement that Pope John Paul II
called "the greatest work in the history of the world."
For heaven's sake, we do not need another
politically correct church.