Jun. 25—Boone County Right to Life supporters gathered outside the Boone County Courthouse Friday evening to quietly celebrate the end of federal protection for abortion.
They began with a prayer and many of the speakers called for peace throughout the nation, as the individual states begin deliberations on how to approach abortion.
The group of about 40 resolved to offer help to women, men, and families regarding reproductive decisions and other hardships they may face. And they voiced support and pledged prayer for those who have experienced an abortion.
The event was marked by an abundance of children and a lack of counter-demonstration. Some motorists flashed a thumbs up signal as they passed by on Main Street.
The group looked forward to work yet to be done at the state level.
Deanna Stahlhut works with children who are members of the Boone County chapter of Students for Life. Stahlhut said the youths are the future generation in the fight against abortion.
"God has really got ahold of them, and they are on fire," she told the crowd.
The Supreme Court of the United States on Friday released its decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case. The same decision nullifies the court's 1973 landmark decision in Roe v. Wade that protected abortion as a constitutional right.
The court found in Dobbs v. Jackson that abortion is not a constitutional right and that individual states must rule on abortion laws.
"It's a wonderful day for life in this country," Boone County Right to Life President Susan Gentry said minutes after the decision was announced. "We've had almost 50 years of this extremist position in terms of the federal government stepping in on states' rights. It's great to think that states are going to be able to make their own decisions relative of this issue.
"Roe v. Wade has been an open wound in our body politic ever since the day it was decided ..." Gentry said. "But today the healing can finally begin, starting with state laws that protect human life in the womb and provide help and hope for their mothers."
The Lebanon Reporter posted the decision on Facebook and asked what readers thought about it.
Some of the answers were:
"Horrible decision! They just set women's rights back 50 years ... Over 60% of Americans wanted to keep Roe v. Wade ..."
Jody Bennington Miller
"My body no longer belongs to me. It belongs to the state I live in ... The decision of what I can and can't do to my body doesn't belong to the state. It doesn't belong to the fed. It belongs to me. That's why overturning this is a wrong move. This is just the first move in taking women's rights away."
"... This isn't okay. The government has no business telling me what to do with my body."
"For such a controversial issue, it makes sense to send the decision making back to the states so that the elected officials can answer to the wishes of the people. This means that abortion is not federally protected. I would imagine that some states will still choose to allow."