Roe decision stokes opinions in community

By Kasie McCreary - [email protected]

SCIOTO—On Friday, The United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a ruling which has eliminated constitutional protections for those seeking abortion care has raised questions and debate among the community.

It is now up to individual states to decide whether abortions can be legally performed there. At press time, abortion is now illegal or heavily restricted in 11 US states, with at least 12 others expected to follow suit due to “trigger bans” in legislation that take effect with the fall of Roe.

For some in the community, the decision is a time to celebrate what they view as a victory for future generations. Angie Duduit, Publicity Director of Scioto County Right to Life, is among those pleased with the ruling.

For Duduit, this represents a victory following decades of hard work toward a cause she believes in.

“Back in 1983 my husband’s aunt, Lila Donley, actually started Scioto County Right to Life. So I actually was recruited by her to help the organization. She got me and my sister Cindy Craft involved. We’ve been involved with it for almost 30 years.”

By working closely with women and supporters in the community as well as state lawmakers, Duduit said that their Christian faith helped the group through what they felt to be uncertain times.

“We are thrilled. This is something we have worked so many years to see happen. There were so many times when we never thought it would be possible, but we never gave up; we continued to pray, we continued to work. When [the ruling] came through, I was actually on a phone call with someone and I yelled out when [the news] came through on my phone,” said Duduit.

Duduit and other members of the organization were eager to celebrate the news together; for them, it was a thrill to see their years of hard work pay off.

“All of us in our local Right to Life group started texting each other,” she added. “We were just thrilled and praising God and thanking God. Just to see it really happen is a thrill and is a lifelong dream that we are just so happy to see happen.”

With the decision regarding the legality of abortion care and access now in the hands of state lawmakers, Duduit said there is still work for her organization left to be done. However, given what she refers to as Governor DeWine’s “historically pro-life record,” Duduit is confident that all abortions will soon be illegal in the state of Ohio.

Education and support for mothers and their children, she said, is at the root of the group’s message.

“We are here to educate the people in our community about what’s going on,” Duduit said. “To make them aware of laws that are being introduced either for or against life. To give them information so that they can contact their legislators and express their opinions so that they can talk about it with their friends and their family.”

By utilizing a grassroots approach, Duduit and the Scioto County Right to Life organization work with local pregnancy crisis centers in order to educate while also preserving what they feel are the lives of countless unborn children.

“We are here as a way to educate our community and support pro-life issues. We are also supportive of our local CRADLE Pregnancy Care Center—they’re our boots on the ground for mothers who come in and don’t know what to do,” said Duduit. “They provide counseling support, they provide support in the way of clothing even, food, baby strollers, cribs—things that help support that young mom who may be terrified and doesn’t know what to do.”

Others in the community, however, have celebration far from their minds as they brace for a potential flurry of social and legal implications. According to Michelle Loughridge, a nurse for over 10 years and a lifelong Christian, the ruling left her feeling “unsteady” for the future of women’s healthcare and an already flawed foster care system.

While she spent her whole life thinking that the reversal of Roe would cause her to celebrate, she quickly found that her life experiences and observations as a nurse led to her conflicted feelings.

“Being a Christ follower I think we’ve kind of forgotten that being pro-birth and being pro-life are not the same thing,” Loughridge explained. “Being pro-life [should] mean that you care about the follow-through. You care about what happens after [birth]. I think we are falling short of that in a lot of ways. Does mean that [children] don’t deserve to live? I don’t necessarily think that, but I think that we have to remember that these decisions have ripple effects that we’ve got to follow through on.”

Loughridge said that while some social programs exist to help underprivileged families, she isn’t sure they will be adequate in the coming months and years.

“Are there resources? Yes. But we just outlawed abortion in a nation where I as a [new] mom can’t get baby formula for my kid. What are we doing? And that baby formula costs me $1,400 a month if I can find it. It’s a priority issue. Abortion isn’t the issue: It’s a symptom of a disease. The disease is our ignorance of social injustices.”

Loughridge is further concerned how women might choose to end their pregnancies in the wake of the ruling, and what such a decision could mean for the future of women’s healthcare.

Making abortion illegal, she said, will not end the practice.

“I think my biggest concern—especially in my realm of working in the surgical world—is that people are going to continue to try to end their pregnancies whether it is legal or illegal. It is going to get dangerous, and women are going to die. I don’t want women in back alleys trying to manage their own healthcare that way,” Loughridge explained.

The full effects of the decision have yet to be seen, it’s apparent that the Supreme Court’s decision will change the face of what healthcare for women will look like in the US. Loughridge hopes that those celebrating the decision will remember that for some, this could mean the beginning of uncertain times.

She hopes that a discussion about how to care for children and their families in the wake of the ruling will follow.

“If we wanted as a church and as a nation to fix the problem of abortion, we don’t ban abortion. We fix those problems,” she said. “We allow moms to get free contraception. We put comprehensive sex education in schools. We talk about affordable healthcare, paid family leave, welfare funding, housing insecurity, wage gaps, things like that. I make good money for this area and it was terrifying to have a baby. I can’t imagine as a mom with less privilege what it would be like to stare down the barrel of having a baby.”

By Kasie McCreary

[email protected]

Reach Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931 or by email at [email protected]

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931 or by email at [email protected]

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved