US bishops urge prayer, fasting after leak of abortion draft ruling

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The chair of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee on Wednesday urged continued and intensified prayer and fasting that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, following the leak of a draft opinion in a case concerning a state’s abortion law.

“The leak related to the U.S. Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization reminds us of the urgent need for prayer and action at this pivotal moment in our country,” Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore said May 4.                                    

“As Catholics, we care about every unborn child and every mother. Our Church has consistently witnessed in word and deed that life begins at the moment of conception. As the bishops shared in our statement Standing with Moms in Need: we pledge ‘to redouble our efforts to accompany women and couples who are facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies, and during the early years of parenthood, offering them loving and compassionate care through initiatives such as Walking with Moms in Need and countless others.’”         

He added that “we urge everyone to intensify their prayer and fasting that the final decision of the Court will bring about the reversal of Roe and Casey.”                      

Archbishop Lori concluded, “We hope and pray for a change in our laws and stand ready to help all pregnant women in need in each of our communities.”

The news organization Politico published May 2 a draft ruling written by Justice Samuel Alito in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The document calls for the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Other bishops and dioceses around the U.S. also welcomed the direction indicated by the draft opinion in Dobbs.

“If this reflects the court’s final decision, the 62 million children who have lost their lives to the sin of abortion are rejoicing in heaven,” the Archdiocese of Milwaukee said May 3. “This is about more than abortion. This is about a culture that too often chooses death before life, darkness instead of light, and evil instead of good.”

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City commented May 3: “If the draft opinion is a precursor of what is to come in the Dobbs case, the reversal of Roe v. Wade would be a thrilling answer to our prayers and a significant step in building a culture of life that recognizes the inherit dignity of each and every human person, particularly the poor and people of color who are disproportionately targeted by the abortion industry. I applaud Oklahoma leaders for being pro-active with legislation that would essentially eliminate abortion in Oklahoma if the Roe case were overturned.”

“Our focus must continue to be providing support and resources to families in need and connecting with expectant mothers who need reassurance they are not alone. Let us pray for the conversion of hearts and minds to embrace each child as a gift from God,” Archbishop Coakley stated.

A statement from the Supreme Court said that while the leaked document “is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”

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