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EDITORIAL | As Supreme Court decision looms, we must redouble our efforts to build a culture supportive of life as a basic human right

Impending Supreme Court decision is a stark reminder that we must be steadfast in our efforts to protect the right to human life

All eyes are on the Supreme Court as it appears closer than ever to overturning Roe.

Online news site Politico published a report May 2 with a leaked draft opinion indicating the majority of Supreme Court justices seem poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

The following day, a statement from the Supreme Court verified that the draft opinion is “authentic,” but Chief Justice John G. Roberts added that it “does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.” The court’s decision will not be final until it is published, most likely sometime in the next two months.

The development has elicited strong emotions from those on both sides, showing that the our nation remains sharply divided on the issue. A Pew Research survey from 2021, for example, revealed that about six out of 10 Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. A 59% majority of U.S. adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 39% think abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

Some pro-life groups continued a call for even stronger advocacy, while others took a wait-and-see approach to the leaked draft opinion. Even if the court were to overturn Roe, our efforts to build a true culture of life are still needed.

In a statement, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities urged “everyone to intensify their prayer and fasting that the final decision of the Court will bring about the reversal of Roe and Casey.”

We are called to stand up against the evil of abortion by supporting public policy and legislation that respects the sanctity of life. At the same time, it is equally important that we build a culture that considers abortion as unthinkable. We must be willing to support women and men in making life-affirming decisions for their unborn babies.

Archbishop Lori’s statement urged Catholics ‘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...”

To that end, the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate has identified local resources that include support providers, as well as a post-abortion healing ministry, to serve women and men in making life-affirming decisions. Life is a human right and a gift from God. Through our relationship with Jesus, we should be able to see the dignity and face of Christ in every person, and in turn, to cherish and protect life.

Our defense of that right is a joyful witness to the beauty and dignity of every human person — from the moment of conception until natural death. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision next year, let us pray for a greater respect for life and support efforts to care for those in need.

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