Roe v. Wade anniversary events planned locally and nationally


By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

Catholics across the Diocese of Davenport and throughout the United States will observe the 48th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decisions Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton that legalized abortion throughout an entire pregnancy. More than 60 million abortions have been performed legally in the United States since that time, notes the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many events have been canceled or altered to mark the anniversary. Here are four upcoming events.

Bettendorf — Women’s Choice Center canceled its annual candlelight vigil due to the pandemic and is not offering an online event. Linda Rubey, the center’s executive director, asks pro-life supporters to join in prayer and remembrance at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 from the comfort of their homes, “celebrating God’s gift of life and commemorating all lives lost to abortion. Especially on that day and throughout January (Sanctity of Human Life month), let’s prayerfully remember the children whose lives were ended by abortion. Please also pray with us for those personally affected by abortion and for an end to abortion in our country and our world.”


She asked supporters to remember families in crisis while committing to protect human life at every stage and offers some practical ways for people to live out their pro-life beliefs:
• Pray that women and men making pregnancy decisions will choose life and choose Christ.
• Pray for courage for women being pressured to abort by a parent, partner or employer.
• Pray for pregnant women who are victims of domestic or intimate partner violence.
• Pray for abortion clinic workers to have a change of heart.
• Identify local pro-life elected officials and write letters of encouragement and thanks to them.
• Pray for all elected officials to support life.
• Share pro-life support on your social media accounts or among friends and family.
• Pray for the national March for Life on Jan. 29.
• Participate in WCC’s peaceful annual Life Chain event Oct. 3 from 2-3 pm.
• Mentor a struggling young woman or man.
• Offer a night of childcare to a foster or adoptive family in your community.
• Provide childcare for a single parent or “adopt” their family. Include them in your family activities.
• Host a diaper drive for Women’s Choice Center at your church.
• Commemorate the life of a child lost to abortion, miscarriage, stillbirth, injury or illness on WCC’s Memorial Wall

Fort Madison — North Lee County Right to Life will host a Right to Life Driving March Jan. 23 at 10:15 a.m. Vehicles will assemble at the intersection of 5th Street and Avenue G and drive along the usual march route.

Iowa City — Johnson County Right to Life will sponsor a March for Life Jan. 29 at St. Wenceslaus Parish. Mass begins at 9 a.m., march from the church to Emma Goldman Clinic from 10 a.m. to noon, soup luncheon in the parish hall from noon to 1 p.m., Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 p.m. and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 9:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. with benediction to close.

Washington, D.C. — Each year the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Secretariat, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and The Catholic University of America’s Office of Campus Ministry pray for an end to abortion and a greater respect for all human life. Typically this is held during the annual March for Life in Washington.

This year due to coronavirus restrictions, the Mass will be televised and holy hours from across the U.S. will be live-streamed.

The vigil will begin at 7 p.m. CST Jan. 28 from the basilica. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, will preside. Following Mass and throughout the night, bishops from across the U.S. will lead holy hours. The vigil concludes at 7 a.m. on Jan. 29 with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore. The vigil will be broadcast on the USCCB website at The two Masses will be broadcast on the basilica’s website at

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