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June 26, 2003 Edition

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Jane Roe: Wants court to review her case

Most of us know Norma McCorvey by her alias. She is Jane Roe in the 1973 Supreme Court ruling, Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion.

Norma McCorvey has switched sides in the abortion debate. She is now convinced that her case was used by the Supreme Court "to justify the horrible harm done" to women involved in abortions.

At a press conference earlier this year at the National Press Club in Washington, McCorvey said, "It is unjust to allow women to be injured by abortion with no legal remedy for the loss of their child.This is not a matter of pro-choice. We can surely all agree that no woman should be forced to have an abortion against her will in America."

Wants case reopened. Norma McCorvey has taken steps to reopen her case and request that it be overturned. Her actions reflect changes in law and conditions since the high court's decision 30 years ago.

On June 17, 2003, Norma McCorvey and the Texas-based Justice Foundation filed a motion with the federal district court in Dallas. The filing includes 1,000 affidavits from women who have experienced abortions. It details the physical, mental, and emotional trauma they suffered as a result of aborting their children.

Abortion hurts women. One of the affidavits is a 250-page report from Theresa Burke, founder and director of Rachel's Vineyard, a project of the American Life League. She is the author of Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion (Acorn Press, 2002). This book details the stories of hundreds of women Burke has counseled for abortion-related problems.

Started in 1997, Rachel's Vineyard Ministries holds weekend retreats in 45 states for emotional and spiritual healing after abortion (visit www.rachelsVineyard.org for more information).

"The fact is abortion hurts women," said Burke. "If Norma's motion does nothing else but raise awareness of the emotional, mental, and spiritual desolation that so many women have suffered as a result of abortion, it will be a tremendous benefit. Most importantly, I hope that more women will understand from the affidavits filed in this case that they are not alone."

Project Rachel. In the Diocese of Madison, the Office of Family Ministry offers Project Rachel. This is a post-abortion reconciliation referral ministry for men and women who have experienced grief and alienation from God, their faith, and their church. Contact Beverly Hartberg at 608-821-3175 for information on Project Rachel.

In many cases, women and men were told that they could just go on with their lives after an abortion, that "time heals all wounds." The experiences of Norma "Jane Roe" McCorvey and others prove that this is not what really happens. It's time to review the Supreme Court decision and look for alternatives to abortion which respect the lives of the unborn as well as their mothers and fathers.

Mary C. Uhler, editor

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What would Jesus have done?
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To the editor:

What would Jesus Christ have done? We call ourselves Christians. Doesn't that mean "Followers of Christ"?

No one disputes that Saddam Hussein committed horrible crimes. Would Jesus have bombed and destroyed Iraqi cities, homes, and killed thousands of their women, children, and elderly, plus untold thousands of their young men? Would he then debate whether this invasion of Iraq was a "just war"? Would he make such decisions based on the propaganda of the rich and the powerful? Or would he seek out the truth from all sides?

When Jesus went about his mission on earth, did he rely on "popularity polls" in determining how he framed his message? Would he have invested billions of dollars on war and preparations for war while investing barely a pittance on peace?

One political party blames another for presenting known faulty information justifying the invasion. Were not all equally to blame for placing their approval on it? How much are we, the people, at fault for blindly approving?

Would Jesus have compromised his message so as not to offend the money changers in the temple, in Washington, in Madison, or in our churches, just to appear politically correct? How will Jesus judge; what would he have done?

John G. Kinsman, Lime Ridge

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