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Victories aside, battle for life is not over

Pro-life march, rally will feature former law clerk to Justice Alito

The following story appeared in the January 13 Idaho Catholic Register.

By Emily Woodham

Staff Writer

Pro-life advocates are not done with their work to protect human life. The U.S. Supreme Court over-turned the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson of June of last year. The decision returned legislation on abortion to state governments. Advocates are now turning their efforts to state and local legislation.

Dobbs is not the end of our mission; it is just the beginning,” said Megan Wold, who is the keynote speaker for this year’s March for Life in Boise.

Megan Wold

Wold, who is a partner with the law firm Cooper & Kirk in Washington, D.C., served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito from 2014 to 2015. Justice Alito wrote the majority’s statement on the Dobbs decision.

“Our unifying national project of overturning Roe is now a project to legislate protections for life in each of the 50 states. In some ways, that’s an even bigger project than simply overturning Roe,” she said.

Last week, the Idaho Supreme Court, in a 3-2 decision, upheld three state anti-abortion measures, stating that the state constitution does not protect a right to abortion.

However, court decisions do not mean the work is done, Wold said. “I have no doubt that there will be efforts to put this issue before Idaho’s voters, and pro-life Americans must be prepared for what that means,” Wold said. “They cannot let up; they cannot stop praying, speaking, persuading and marching for life.”

The March for Life and Rally in Boise is on Saturday, Jan. 21 and is sponsored by Idaho Right to Life.

The day begins at 11 a.m. with a Life Mass celebrated by Bishop Peter Christensen at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, sponsored by Idaho Catholics Respect Life and St. John’s Culture of Life Ministry. The March for Life begins at 1 p.m. at Julia Davis Park, immediately followed by the rally at the state Capitol steps.

St. Mark’s Parish is having a rose procession at the 8:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, Jan. 22. Fifty people will process in with a rose to commemorate the 50 years since Roe was passed at 8:30 a.m. “Each rose represents the people who should have been born that year,” said Emily Naugle, ministry leader of St. Mark’s Respect Life. “These are the people who should be our friends and neighbors, but they never had a chance to be born.”

As in past years, volunteers can help plant crosses at St. Mark’s Parish, 7960 Northview St., at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14. Following that, crosses, representing lives lost to abortion, will also be planted at Bishop Kelly High School in Boise.

The majority on the Idaho Supreme Court said there is no historical evidence to support the conclusion that abortion rights were “deeply rooted” at the time the state constitution was enacted. “To the contrary, the relevant history and traditions of Idaho show abortion was viewed as an immoral act and treated as a crime,” wrote Justice Robyn Brody for the majority. “We cannot read a fundamental right to abortion into the text of the Idaho Constitution.”

The Idaho court voted to uphold multiple sections of Idaho code restricting abortion access, rejecting Planned Parenthood’s petitions to block three laws.

The first petition challenged a law that allows certain family members of a pre-born child to sue health care professionals who perform abortions. The second challenged a state law that bans nearly all abortions. The third, the so-called “fetal heartbeat bill” would make it a felony for medical professionals to perform an abortion after electrical activity is detected.

If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more like it, please consider buying a subscription to the Idaho Catholic Register. Your $20 yearly subscription also supports the work of the Diocese of Boise Communications Department, which includes not only the newspaper, but this website, social media posts and videos. You can subscribe here, or through your parish, or send a check to 1501 S. Federal Way, Boise, ID, 83705: or call 208-350-7554 to leave a credit card payment. Thank you, and God bless you.

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