By Anne Marie Amacher
The 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion will be observed with prayer vigils and marches in the Davenport Diocese and throughout the United States this month.
On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling titled Roe v. Wade led to the legalization of abortion in the U.S., but with restrictions. Later that day the Supreme Court ruled on a companion case, Doe v. Bolton, which allowed abortion for virtually any reason.
Since that time, pro-life supporters have worked tirelessly to prevent abortions and will continue to do so long after the following events take place:
Bettendorf — The Women’s Choice Center will host a candlelight vigil Jan. 22 at the pro-life center. Rosary begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by a prayer hour at 7 p.m. Both will be held at the center. “We will pray before God to end 40 years of a ‘culture of death,’” said Leigh Germanis, the Women’s Choice Center development director.
Davenport — A holy hour for life will be held Jan. 22 from 4-5 p.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church.
Des Moines — Midwest March for Life will be held Jan. 19 from 11-11:30 a.m. The march starts at the Iowa State Capitol and ends at the Iowa Supreme Court. Co-leaders will be Governor Terry Branstad and Bishop Richard Pates, bishop of the Des Moines Diocese. Following the march, the Roe v Wade Effect Program will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at the Iowa Events Center grand ballroom. Speakers include Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds; State Sen. David Johnson; Sue Thayer, former Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Clinic manager; the Rev. Keith Ratliffe, Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church; Pastor Al Perez, Miracle Life Family Church; Tamara Scott, Concerned Women for America, Iowa Republican National Committee woman; Troy Newman, Pro-Life Nation; Jenny Condon, executive director, InnerVisions HealthCare; and Jenifer Bowen, executive director, Iowa Right to Life. A free will offering will help defray the march and luncheon costs. Luncheon reservations must be made by Jan. 15. To RSVP or for questions, contact Paula Brown at (877) 595-9406 or outreach@iowaRTL.org.
Fort Madison — North Lee County Right to Life will hold its annual March for Life Jan. 19 beginning at 10:30 a.m. Participants will meet at Tenth Street and Avenue F and walk through downtown, then back to McAleer Hall for refreshments. Pro-life signs will be provided.
Iowa City – Bishop Martin Amos will preside at a vespers service Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. at St. Mary Church in Iowa City. Following vespers, five pro-life leaders from the diocese will witness to their efforts. The evening will conclude with coffee and networking in the parish hall. For more information, contact the Diocesan Social Action Office at (563) 888-4210 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Johnson County Right to Life will take part in the Vespers for Life and have an advertising supplement inserted in an edition of the Daily Iowan, the University of Iowa’s newspaper. The ad is designed for college campuses and has generated “some intense on-line discussion and inspires spirited letters to the editor,” said Judee Albert, president of Johnson County Right to Life.