- (Photo: Monica Conrow)
An anti-abortion message meant to resound with Sherwood, Ore., residents has been placed in a field overlooking a busy commercial strip in the form of 430 white, wooden crosses with a banner that reads, "54 million people were not given the opportunity to choose their own path."
The crosses were installed by the Knights of Columbus council in affiliation with a local Catholic church and were purposely erected to coincide with the 41st anniversary of the landmark case Roe v. Wade, and to echo statistics that indicate the millions of abortions performed during the last four decades.
"We have not done anything like this before," said Steve Holthouse, a member of the council, according to The Oregonian. "It's a new undertaking from us."
Although the organization has placed pro-life banners, signs and displays in other parts of the state, this project is their largest with each cross representing 160,000 aborted babies.
Since the decision in the Roe v. Wade case took place in January 1973, the organization plans to keep the crosses planted through the entire month, which the owner of the land in which they are set, City Councilor Matt Langer, has agreed to.
"Their [Knights of Columbus] efforts are right in line with our beliefs," said Langer. "When they called and asked to do something like that, we said, 'certainly.'"
The Knights of Columbus aim to spread awareness of the consequences resulting from abortions through the visual of numerous crosses. However, the underlying issue they are against is the decision taken by the Supreme Court in which it affirmed the legality of a woman's right to have an abortion under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution in the Roe v. Wade decision.
The case garnered much attention after an unmarried woman, Norma McCorvey who identified herself as "Jane Roe," wanted to end her pregnancy safely and legally, challenging Texas' statute at the time that made it a crime to perform an abortion unless a woman's life was at stake.
The court's decision ruled in her favor, and also set a legal precedent that influenced more than 30 subsequent Supreme Court cases involving restrictions on access to abortion.
Years later, another case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, guaranteed states' rights to limit access to abortion, as long as it did not pose an "undue burden" on the woman. Since then, most states have enforced abortion restrictions, except Oregon.
Currently, the state has no type of limitations such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or restrictions on publicly funded abortions, which are often found in other states.