Overturning Roe v Wade: A reflection

Published July 5, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Former Senator Atty. Joey D. Lina


Former Senator
Atty. Joey Lina

Last month’s decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade landmark ruling on abortion rights triggered a flurry of protests more furious than when an initial draft of a majority decision was leaked earlier.

The leaked draft was already a bombshell that shocked many pro-choice advocates, but when the decision to strike down the 1973 landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion finally became official, the ruling still ignited a firestorm.

Not only in the US was the decision so dismaying to pro-choice advocates; it distressed many across the world. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern even described the ruling as a “loss for women everywhere” as she remarked: “Watching the removal of a woman’s fundamental right to make decisions over their own body is incredibly upsetting.”

For those on the other side who vehemently oppose abortion, the recent ruling was heaven-sent. It was a decision awaited for five decades by those who committed their lives in trying to save unborn children. For those who spent thousands of hours in front of abortion clinics reaching out to women in crisis and trying to persuade them not to undergo abortion, the SC decision is seen as vindication.

But the voices of those against abortion rights are drowned out by those who are ferociously against the ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade for being “egregiously wrong from the start.” Those who have been speaking up and fighting for the right to life and the right of the unborn child now need to intensify their efforts.

Thus, my being a pro-life advocate ever since now compels me to speak up. Firstly, my opposition to abortion is anchored on religion. While the Holy Bible does not specifically mention abortion as wrong, it is clear in Exodus 23:7 and Proverbs 6:16-17 that killing innocent human beings is wrong and God hates the hands that shed innocent blood.

And being a Catholic, I’m obliged to follow the teachings of my faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.” (2271).

But apart from religious grounds, my main argument against abortion is simply because it’s putting an end to the life of the unborn. Although unborn, the fetus is still human life. Otherwise, what is it? Abortion would not be such a moral issue if the life is not human. And it certainly is alive, otherwise, it would not be developing and growing inside the mother’s womb.

This argument is covered by Sec. 12, Article 11 of the 1987 Constitution which states:

“The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. …”

Life begins at conception or fertilization, as clarified in a landmark supreme court decision in Imbong v. Ochoa.

The medical text Human Embryology and Teratology makes it clear: “Although human life is a continuous process, fertilization [also called conception] is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.”

On a personal note, I’ve been a pro-life advocate. My parents had 12 children. Though life was difficult, my father who was an elementary school teacher was able to provide the basic necessities for all of us. My mother, who is now 101 years old, was always there to care for us when we were young. Her longevity can even be attributed to having given birth to 12 children. And that’s another reason why I’m pro-life.

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