Catholics for Choice Condemns the Supreme Court’s Overturning of Roe Vs. Wade by Jamie L. Manson
Catholics for Choice, which uplifts and amplifies the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom, denounced today’s Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade and ending the constitutional right to abortion in the United States that was the law of the land for nearly half a century.
The ruling from the majority-Catholic Court sends the abortion issue back to the states, 26 of which have laws that could be used to restrict or end access to abortion, including 13 with so-called “trigger laws” that ban all or nearly all abortions now that Roe has been struck down.
While we knew this day was coming, that knowledge does nothing to diminish the gut-wrenching horror that Catholics for Choice feels today. The unconscionable Supreme Court decision to end the constitutional right to abortion is the culmination of a decades-long religious crusade – spearheaded by the U.S. Catholic bishops – to take away a woman’s most fundamental freedoms, namely her ability to control her own fertility and determine her own destiny. This ruling gives right-wing leaders unfettered license to codify fringe religious beliefs into civil law. It is a full-frontal assault on, and is utterly incompatible with, the bedrock American principles of religious freedom and the separation of church and state.
The fall of Roe v. Wade will have devastating effects for millions of women and pregnant people across the country. As Catholics, we are taught a theology of social justice. But abortion bans are the opposite of justice. They disproportionately harm people already oppressed by obstacles to accessing health care, especially Black people, Indigenous people and other people of color, those working to make ends meet, women, young people, people with disabilities and complex medical conditions, immigrants and members of the LGBTQI+ community – the very same marginalized people whom our faith commands us to serve first. I fear that people will die because they can no longer access abortion care – and their blood will be on hands of bishops and the ultra-conservative Catholics who bankrolled this effort.
No matter what the bishops – or the court – say, our faith is clear: abortion is a human right. In stealing that right, the extremists on the Supreme Court have shown themselves to be wildly out of touch with the views of most Americans and the beliefs of the majority of U.S. Catholics, who polls consistently show support legal abortion in all or most cases. Now more than ever, Congress and the White House must act where the courts have failed and protect the rights of women and pregnant people once and for all.
On this terrible day we mourn, we grieve, we rage alongside all our fellow Americans who believe in the basic right of all people to determine their own sexual and reproductive futures. But we fight on. And we will not stop.
Compelled by our faithfully-formed consciences and guided by our Catholic values, we will fight until this abominable and unjust ruling is overruled and the fundamental right to abortion is once again the law of the land.
Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to a person’s well-being and respect, and affirm the capacity of all people to make moral decisions about their lives.
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