Op-Ed: Pro-life movement stands on their shoulders

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The following op-ed is written by State Sen. John Schickel (R-Union)

My sister Mary called from Atlanta Friday, crying tears of joy. She said that the landmark Roe v. Wade case had been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The phone call took me back 50 years to when I was sitting in class as a senior at Moeller High School, and it was announced the Roe v. Wade decision had been made on that cold January day in 1973. I did not care much, as I was more concerned with my hot rod and impressing girls. That evening at the supper table, my father was earnest as he explained to his 11 children what a sad day it was for America.

For the following years, I would attend pro-life events with my mother and father and later as an adult. In my heart, I never really believed the decision would be overturned. How wrong I was.

The Dobbs v. Jackson decision didn’t just happen but resulted from many unselfish folks who dedicated their lives to the cause. They never lived to see the decision on this Earth but are certainly looking down on us now. 

These folks made sacrifices personally and financially and were ridiculed by their professions, the mainstream media and sometimes their own families. I will mention four of them, but I’m sure there are many more.

Dr. John Willke, the renowned obstetrician who passed away in 2015, never gave up on his strong advocacy and sacrificed professionally for it.

Northern Kentucky attorney Robert Cetrulo founded Northern Kentucky Right to Life and virtually dedicated his life to the pro-life cause. He passed away in 2016.

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Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Donald Wintersheimer, who passed away in 2021, was always a brave advocate for the cause.

Finally, Boone County’s own, and my personal friend, Judge Robert Greene, was always active in the pro-life cause, a leader in the Knights of Columbus and served on the Bishop’s Pro-Life Commission for many years. We laid him to rest just last month at the age of 91.

These brave souls never lived to see the fruits of their labor. They had faith while many others did not. All in the pro-life movement from Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati will be ever grateful to them.

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