"We should defeat this bill and work to find new ways to truly help pregnant women and working mothers trying to continue their education," he added.
In his appeal to Catholics, Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento called on the people of his diocese to join in a novena for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe in order to defeat SB 24. Our Lady of Guadalupe, who on the tilma is depicted as pregnant with Christ, is an often-invoked patroness of the unborn.
"This is unprecedented intrusion on university campuses. It is unnecessary and only serves to further indoctrinate the young to the ideology of abortion," Soto said in a letter to the people of his diocese.
"We must continue our efforts to stop this deadly piece of legislation. The womb should not become a tomb for any child anywhere in our state. Women and children deserve better."
He thanked the people of his diocese for their letters and phone calls to their legislators, and suggested visiting their offices as well. However, prayer is of the utmost importance, he added.
"Our own political action is important but we must also draw wisdom and strength from prayer. Salvation History is filled with examples of the focused, unified prayer of many Christians overcoming evil even when, from our limited human perspective, the cause seemed insurmountable and hopeless," he said.
The end of the Aug. 3-11 novena coincides with the the day the state legislature reconvenes after its summer recess.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco has also asked Catholics of his diocese to join in the novena to defeat the "dangerous and unprecedented" bill.
Medical abortions involve the taking of two pills - the first, mifepristone, blocks progesterone, which is essential for maintaining the health of the fetus. The second pill, misoprostol, is taken 24 hours after mifepristone and works to induce contractions in order to expel the fetus.