AS PART of my theological seminary education, I got an internship on the campus ministry staff at Penn State University beginning in the fall of 1969. Just as I arrived in State College, a local minister was arrested in his home, taken to his church office where his counseling files were confiscated by the local police, and then put in jail for the night. He was bailed out the next day and led the worship service at his church the following Sunday.

The “crime” for which the Reverend was arrested and jailed was that he had helped to arrange an abortion for a Penn State University student. He was part of a network called the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion. The CCS put women who were determined to end their pregnancies in touch with competent physicians who were willing to take the risk of performing abortions, knowing that the women in question might very well seek unsafe — and possibly fatal — alternative abortion procedures otherwise.

The role of this particular minister in the CCS network became known when the young woman confessed about her abortion to her parents, and he was arrested. The arresting officers did him a favor by confiscating his counseling files. This was ruled an illegal search and the charges were dismissed. I never learned the legal consequences of the physician who performed the abortion.

With the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973, the services of the CCS were, by and large, no longer needed.

I thought of this incident from pre-Roe v. Wade days, now that it looks like we may well be headed for a post-Roe v. Wade era.

Post-Roe v. Wade will not be the same as pre-Roe v. Wade. There will not be a nationwide abortion ban. But we may see the need for an updated version of that CCS network in states where abortion could become criminalized.

Consider a woman in post-Roe v. Wade America, living in an illegal abortion state, who wishes to end her pregnancy. If she has the requisite financial resources, she should have little difficulty. With a plane ticket to, say, New York or Boston, and with the proper appointments in place, she’ll get her abortion and be back home in a matter of days.

But what of the woman seeking to end her pregnancy in an illegal abortion state and who does not have such means? Could she seek the services of a successor network to the CCS? I believe that such networks in the illegal abortion states — and they’ll involve far more participants than just members of the liberal clergy — will be put in place. Their role will be to help arrange for women to obtain safe and legal abortions where they are permitted and perhaps arrange for whatever financial assistance they can.

Some women will take advantage of such a network. Others, for various reasons, will not. In the latter case, the services of a “bootleg abortionist” will probably be sought, with possibly harmful, if not fatal, results.

I also wouldn’t put it past legislatures in the illegal-abortion states to enact laws that would criminalize the efforts of those involved in the networks just described. Such laws most likely would not stand up to court challenges, but they would give certain legislators and governors yet another means to tout their “pro-life” cred.

In whatever ways it plays out, abortions will continue to be performed in a post-Roe v. Wade era. Some will be legally obtained, others will not. Some will be safe, others may prove fatal.

This, my dear pro-lifers, is what you have sold your souls to Donald Trump for, to get a Supreme Court that has brought us to the brink of a post-Roe v. Wade America. Is it worth that price?

Rev. Steve Edington is minister emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

MY NAME is Katie Kinnane and I’m a special education mom with children in Hollis. What does that mean? It means that I’m a member of a community team — parents and the school district — that work together to ensure that my children are receiving the services they need to succeed in life. It …

Monday, November 29, 2021

A RECENT New Hampshire Sunday News had a front page story that started with “a social media post by a little known group,” which caught my attention. A second item, “Reactions to Rittenhouse verdict highlight country’s divisions” also did for similar reasons. A question we need to consider i…

Sunday, November 28, 2021

DESPITE RISING public pressure to decrease gun violence and institute smart, common-sense reforms around ownership, the last several years have seen a relaxation of regulations regarding guns in our society. It is a right and a privilege, but we can all agree that it carries with it clear re…

I’M GOING to tell you something, something that I’ve never told anyone before. It has brought me no end of shame, and I’m afraid that I’ll lose the respect of my friends and coworkers by admitting it. The truth is… I’m from Massachusetts.

Friday, November 26, 2021
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Tuesday, November 23, 2021

THIS TIME OF YEAR, as we leave autumn behind and November rolls on, many reflect on the importance of giving thanks and gratitude. These past two years have been exceptionally challenging for people around the world. We have all experienced loss during this time, ranging from loss of ability…

Monday, November 22, 2021

LAST WEEK, Commissioner Frank Edelblut announced a Department of Education effort to encourage the public to inform on public educators and, hand-in-hand with that announcement, an extremist group offered bounties to those who instigate investigations that may lead to the discipline and poss…

Sunday, November 21, 2021