At the start of 1973 the majority of States outlawed abortions entirely. New York , Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington (state) had already legalized abortion in nearly all cases before the fetus was viable. The following states allowed some abortions: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, California and Oregon. Soon, the Supreme Court will hear a case from Mississippi that could undermine Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion. The new case, concerning a state law that seeks to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, will be reviewed by a Supreme Court holding a seeming 6-to-3 conservative majority. In the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned, it does not mean that abortions are no longer legal, it means that the policy and law decisions will return to each State for determination – at least that seems to be the views of those who write on constitutional law – both conservative and liberal. Of course the Supreme Court can render a decision that falls between letting Roe v. Wade stand and a complete overturn of the law.
In our gospel for Pentecost Sunday, Jesus’ first words are “Peace be with you.” His second words are “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21) That should give each one of us pause, for we too by virtue of our Baptism are sent into the world…just as the Father sent Jesus.
The Fourth Gospel speaks often of Jesus being sent into the world by the Father: to do his will (6:38–39; 8:29), to speak his words (3:34; 8:28; 12:49; 14:24; 17:8), to perform his works (4:34; 5:36; 9:4) and win salvation for all who believe (3:16–17).