Joe (left) joins Irish activists protesting at a Marie Stopes center in Dublin, which refers Irish women to abortion facilities in England [Photo by Ann Scheidler]
Joe Scheidler gave the opening talk at Ireland’s Youth Defence 4th International Conference in Dublin on March 24. He spoke on the role of the Supreme Court, both in his own RICO case, NOW v. Scheidler and with respect to the anticipated fall of Roe v. Wade.
Scheidler gave a brief background on the Supreme Court and some of its more notorious rulings, such as the Dred Scott decision of 1857 in which the Court ruled:
[Black men] had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it.”
Roe v. Wade, Scheidler said, is another ruling which will be forever hailed as a travesty. But, he said, there is a bright side to the Court as well. Scheidler explained how the Justices on the current court seemed well informed and genuinely concerned about the broad implications of applying the Racketeering statute to political protesters. He emphasized the importance of the First Amendment in the United States and the Court’s protection of First Amendment rights, even for those whose message is unwelcome.
Joe (left) and New York’s Chris Slattery at the Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub [Photo by Ann Scheidler]
Fate of Roe v. Wade Impacts the World
Scheidler told the international audience that he fully expected Roe v. Wade to be either overturned or significantly undercut in the near future, and that once America outlaws abortion, it will have a ripple effect on the rest of the world.
Speakers from Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, America and Ireland covered a broad spectrum of pro-life issues during the three-day international conference. Organizers from Youth Defence also provided traditional Irish entertainment each evening of the conference, including Irish music and a Ceili dance.
Following the Dublin conference, Joe and Ann Scheidler spent several days touring the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland before returning to the U.S.