Friday, January 21, 2011

Honoring Roe v. Wade, Abortion Providers, and Women's Lives

Saturday is the 38th Anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade Decision.

I had the good fortune to attend the Connecticut Coalition for Choice dinner last night, marking the Roe anniversary and honoring the doctors who perform safe and legal abortions to women in Connecticut.

The dinner included an award to Dr. Leroy Carhart, one of the nation's few doctors who perform abortions in later pregnancies. Dr. Carhart worked closely with Dr. George Tiller, the doctor who was murdered as he attended church in 2009, and told us that they had promised each other that if something happened, the other would continue the work. Dr. Carhart shared some of the heartbreaking stories of the women he serves. He told us that yes, he is cautious about his security, but he is not afraid, and that he believes in saving women's lives and futures, he is doing God's work.

I think so too.

The Reverend Maria LaSala, minister at the First Presbyterian Church in New Haven, offered the Benediction. I was deeply moved by her words, and asked her for permission to share them with you. She prayed,

"Let us remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure that women of all ages, races, and economic realities, have the right to legal, safe, and affordable abortion.

Let us remain steadfast in our support of the doctors, nurses, and health center staff who, morning by morning and day by day, affirm women’s choices to terminate a pregnancy and provide the necessary medical procedures to keep women healthy and strong.

Let us remain steadfast in our commitment to honor the choices that women who face unwanted and unplanned pregnancies make, knowing that any decision concerning women’s reproductive health is never easy.

On this night, let us remember Dr. George Tiller, Dr. Bernard Slepian, Shannon Lowney, Lee Ann Nichols, Dr. David Gunn, Dr. John Britton, James Barrett and John Sanderson, and all those who lost their lives or were injured due to abortion related violence. On this night we give thanks for Dr. Carhart, whose perseverance and commitment to proving abortions in the face of ongoing threats and dangers, is ever a blessing. We ask that God watch over all those who work in women’s health care centers, that no harm might come to them.

And now, may the love and compassion of the Holiest of Holies surround us. May the strength of all that is holy be with us."

On this 38th anniversary of Roe, may it indeed be so.

No comments: