“Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade – Norma McCorvey, R.I.P. In the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, the “Roe” was “Jane Roe,” which was a pseudonym in court documents to keep the plaintiff anonymous. She didn’t stay anonymous for long; Norma McCorvey became an activist in defense of abortion for many years, and worked in an abortion clinic. In 1994, she published her autobiography, I am Roe. Yet at a book signing, she was befriended by a pro-life activist, thought more carefully about the baby, and soon thereafter became a pro-life activist. She recounts this in her book Won by Love. Her web page is called End Roe, and she remained a strong and effective pro-life advocate. We are sad to report that she died February 18 of heart failure, age 69. To put her role in the case in context, we have a blog post on Our Experience with Overturning Terrible Court Decisions.
Oscar Short Documentaries: Action for the Victims The Hollywood Oscar awards show is February 26. Among the lesser-known Oscar nominations is a set of five short documentaries. Four of them portray people positively asserting humane values in the face of massive violence. Of those, three deal with the current war in Syria: 4.1 Miles is about the Greek Coast Guard rescuing boatloads of refugees near the island of Lesbos (a real-life version of the Parable of the Bridge). In Syria itself, The White Helmets (available on Netflix) are local men who rush to do rescue work when bombs go off. Watani: My Homeland follows a Syrian family over many years, helping us understand why people are desperate enough get on those boats; fortunately, this family was finally settled in a compassionate Germany.
The war in Joe’s Violin was long ago – a Polish Holocaust survivor’s violin is donated to a local school of troubled kids. The violin and Joe himself are held in high regard. It’s a beautiful example of people who’ve been put down sticking together. Finally, Extremis (available on Netflix) looks at heart-breaking end-of-life decision-making in a hospital. This is the kind of program where propaganda for assisted suicide or euthanasia might arise, but it didn’t. Whether to continue a ventilator or not was done with no intent that the patient should be dead. We covered this in a blog post explaining euthanasia.
Latest CL Blog In the U.S. and Canada, February is Black History Month (or African-American History Month). We use the occasion to offer Historical Black Voices: Racism Kills.
Quotation of the Week Carol Crossed and Eric Anthony Susan B. Anthony Would Never Have Joined the Women’s March on Washington The Washington Post, January 18, 2017 The unifying theme of Susan Brownell Anthony’s life was to speak up for those without a voice. Anthony fought for temperance, the abolition of slavery and especially the enfranchisement of women. She also spoke up for the voiceless child in utero, opposing Restellism, the term that Anthony’s newspaper and others at that time used for abortion. It’s easy to chalk up Anthony’s (and other early feminists’) opposition to abortion as a relic of their day and age. But these women were progressive and independent; they did not oppose abortion because they were conditioned to, but because they believed every human life has inherent and equal value, no matter their age, skin color or sex.
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