Life in a Post Roe v Wade USA

Last week the US Supreme Court heard arguments challenging a new Mississippi abortion law. Many believe when the court issues its decision this summer, it could significantly change the abortion landscape in our country for the better.

A December 1, 2021, New York Times article reported that while many commentators would lead us to believe there are just two choices: "the court could strike down the law and fully reaffirm Roe v. Wade, as the law's challengers desire, or it could gut the idea that the Constitution protects abortion rights at all, as Mississippi has urged." The more likely outcome is that the court would try to find some middle ground.

The article stated that considering Chief Justice John Robert's line of questioning. He will likely encourage moving back the legal standard to limit abortion from the current standard of "viability," usually placed at 24 weeks, to 15 weeks, the standard in the Mississippi law. Roberts said during questioning that 15 weeks would put US legal limits more in line with most countries in the world.

According to Julia D. Mahoney, a University of Virginia law professor, "The viability framework has always been something of an embarrassment, in large part because viability hinges on medical technology and access to it." When the court decided on Roe v. Wade about fifty years ago, the article points out that viability was around 28 weeks. Today, viability is about 23 weeks, depending on access to care. Surprisingly, Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who wrote the original abortion decision, placed the boundary line at 12 weeks. While the court is unlikely to decide to outlaw abortion, new limits are likely to become law.

While Catholics should applaud any movement to limit abortion, we must exercise solidarity with women who find themselves desperate in the face of an unexpected pregnancy. In an article for America Media, Holly Taylor Coolman, a theology professor at Providence College, wrote, 'we have repeatedly heard the phrase "My body, my choice." Unfortunately, there has been a troubling corollary in American policy "Your baby, your problem."

She suggested twelve things pro-lifers must do if Roe V. Wade is overturned. I'll only touch on a few here. First, refuse to support laws, like the Texas one, that punishes women who seek abortions. Pre-Roe abortion laws punished those who performed the abortion, not those who sought them. Support laws that support families, including family leave and child tax credits. Half the children living in poverty were lifted out of it by the pandemic relief measures offering child tax credits. They need to be made permanent.

We need to lobby to pass the Pregnant Women Support Act, which would provide free health visits for new mothers and ban health plans from describing pregnancy as a preexisting condition. She encourages committed pro-lifers to donate 1% of their income to the cause of helping expectant mothers.

Pro-life people need to support foster care by becoming foster parents, considering the adoption of foster children, supporting respectful foster care practices, organizing support for foster families by providing respite care, and helping them with everyday tasks. A good work we could do here in Holy Redeemer parish is collecting items for welcome boxes for children arriving in new foster homes.

Recently, Rosemary O'Reilly volunteered to be our parish's liaison with the diocesan Pro-Life efforts. She has already started to network with people from surrounding parishes here on the Lower Cape to work on pro-life issues. If you want to learn more about this ministry and wish to become involved, please contact Rosemary O'Reilly by phone (508)269-0031 or email at

As Professor Coolman said at the end of her article, "The work of the pro-life community is not over if Roe is overturned. Some of the most important work lies ahead."

"When human life under any circumstances is not held as sacred in a society, all human life in that society is threatened."   Cardinal Joseph Bernardin

Christmas Mass Schedule

Christmas Eve, Friday, December 24, 4 PM & 6 PM

Christmas Day, Saturday, December 25, 10 AM

Feast of the Holy Family, Sunday, December 26, 8 AM & 10 AM

There will be no 4 PM Vigil Mass on Saturday, December 25

View from the Cloister

The Cultural Center of Cape Cod is sponsoring an art exhibit, View from the Cloister: Art from the Trappist Monks of St. Joseph's Abbey, Spencer, MA, at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod 307 Old Main Street, S. Yarmouth, MA. The exhibit is running through December 18, 2021. There is no admission fee. Those not yet vaccinated for COVID 19 are required to wear masks. For more information, call the center at 508-394-7100 or visit their website

2022 Catholic Calendars

Catholic Calendars for 2022 are available on the table at the back of the church. They include all the Catholic holidays, liturgical seasons, and the saints' feasts. The Catholic Extension Service publishes the calendars, and they include information about the work of Catholic Extension in mission diocese around the country. It is good to have a Catholic Calendar in the home as a tool to teach about the liturgical calendar and as a sign that yours is a Catholic home. Would you please help yourself to a couple of them and share them with your family and neighbors. The Nickerson Funeral Home sponsors the calendars for the parish.