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Posted on 12/2/2021 14:04 PM (EWTN News - US Catholic News)
Washington D.C., Dec 2, 2021 / 08:04 am (CNA).
Anna Del Duca and daughter, Frances, woke up at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning to brave the 30-degree weather outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. They arrived hours before oral arguments began in the highly-anticipated abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The case, which involves a Mississippi law restricting most abortions after 15 weeks, challenges two landmark decisions: Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld Roe in 1992.
“We're looking forward to the end of Roe versus Wade in our country,” Anna, who drove from Pittsburgh Tuesday night, told CNA. In her hands, she held a sign reading, “I regret my abortion.”
“I would like to use my testimony to be a blessing to others,” she said, so that “others will choose life or those who have regretted abortion or had an abortion would turn to Jesus.”
Anna remembered having an abortion when she was just 19. Today, she and her daughter run a group called Restorers of Streets to Dwell In Pittsburgh that offers help to women seeking healing after abortion.
Anna and Frances were among thousands of Americans who rallied outside the Supreme Court before, during, and after the oral arguments. To accommodate them, law enforcement closed the street in front of the court. Capitol police also placed fencing in the space in front of the building in an attempt to physically separate rallies held by abortion supporters and pro-lifers.
At 21-weeks pregnant, pro-life speaker Alison Centofante emceed the pro-life rally, called, “Empower Women Promote Life.” The event featured a slew of pro-life women of diverse backgrounds and numerous politicians.
“It’s funny, there were so many diverse speakers today that the only unifying thread was that we want to protect preborn children,” Centofante told CNA. They included Democrats, Republicans, Christians, Catholics, agnostics, atheists, women who chose life, and women who regretted their abortions, she said.
She recognized women there, including Aimee Murphy, as people who are not the typical “cookie cutter pro-lifer.”
Aimee Murphy, 32, founder of pro-life group Rehumanize International, arrived at the Supreme Court around 6:30 a.m. She drove from Pittsburgh the night before. Her sign read, “Queer Latina feminist rape survivor against abortion.”“At Rehumanize International, we oppose all forms of aggressive violence,” she told CNA. “Even as a secular and non-partisan organization, we understand that abortion is the most urgent cause that we must stand against in our modern day and age because it takes on average over 800,000 lives a year.”
She also had a personal reason for attending.
“When I was 16 years old, I was raped and my rapist then threatened to kill me if I didn't have an abortion,” she revealed.
“It was when he threatened me that I felt finally a solidarity with unborn children and I understood then that, yeah, the science told me that a life begins at conception, but that I couldn't be like my abusive ex and pass on the violence and oppression of abortion to another human being — that all that I would be doing in having an abortion would be telling my child, ‘You are an inconvenience to me and to my future, therefore I'm going to kill you,’ which is exactly the same thing that my rapist was telling me when he threatened to kill me.”
On the other side of the police fence, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Abortion Access Coalition and NARAL Pro-Choice America participated in another rally. Yellow balloons printed with the words “BANS OFF OUR BODIES” escaped into the sky. Several pro-choice demonstrators declined to speak with CNA.
Voices clashed in the air as people, the majority of whom were women, spoke into their respective microphones at both rallies. Abortion supporters stressed bodily autonomy, while pro-lifers recognized the humanity of the unborn child. Chants arose from both sides at different points, from “Whose choice? My choice!” to “Hey hey, ho ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go!”
At 10 a.m., the pro-life crowd sudddenly went silent as the oral arguments began and the rally paused temporarily as live audio played through speakers.
During the oral arguments, students from Liberty University knelt in prayer. One student estimated that more than a thousand students from the school made the more than 3-hour trip from Lynchburg, Virginia.
“Talking about our faith is one thing, but actually acting upon it is another,” he said. “We have to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. So to me this is part of doing that.”
Sister Mary Karen, who has been with the Sisters of Life for 21 years, also stressed the importance of prayer. She drove from New York earlier that morning because, she said, she felt drawn to attend. She came, she said, to pray for the country and promote the dignity of a human person.
“Our culture is post-abortive,” she explained. “So many people have suffered and the loss of human life is so detrimental, just not knowing that we have value and are precious and sacred.”
She stood next to Theresa Bonopartis, who traveled from Harrison, New York, and ministers to women and others wounded by abortion.
“I've been fighting abortion for 30 years at least,” she told CNA.
Her ministry, called Entering Canaan, began with the Sisters of Life and is observing its 25th anniversary this year. It provides retreats for women, men, and even siblings of aborted babies.
Abortion is personal for Bonopartis, who said she had a coerced abortion when she was just 17.
“I was kicked out of the house by my father and then coerced into getting an abortion,” she said. “Pretty much cut me off from everything, and that's something people don't really talk about … they make it try to seem like it's a woman's right, it's a free choice. It's all this other stuff, but many women are coerced in one way or another.”
She guessed that she was 14 or 15 weeks pregnant at the time.
“I saw my son. I had a saline abortion, so I saw him, which I always considered a blessing because it never allowed me to deny what abortion was,” she said. Afterward, she said she struggled with self-esteem issues, hating herself, guilt, shame, and more. Then, she found healing.
“I know what that pain is like, I know what that experience is like, and you know that you can get past it,” she said. “You just want to be able to give that message to other people, that they're able to heal.”
Residents of Mississippi, where the Dobbs v. Jackson case originated, also attended.
Marion, who declined to provide her last name, drove from Mississippi to stand outside the Supreme Court. She said she was in her early 20s when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.
“At the time, of course, I could care less,” she said. Since then, she had a change of heart.
“We were the generation that allowed it,” she said, “and so we are the generation who will help close that door and reverse it.”
The crowd at the pro-life rally included all ages, from those who had witnessed Roe to bundled-up babies, children running around, and college students holding up homemade signs.
One group of young friends traveled across the country to stand outside the Supreme Court. They cited their faith and family as reasons for attending.
Mathilde Steenepoorte, 19, from Green Bay, Wisconsin, identified herself as “very pro-life” in large part because of her younger brother with Down syndrome. She said she was saddened by the abortion rates of unborn babies dianosed with Down syndrome.
Juanito Estevez, from Freeport, a village on Long Island, New York, arrived Tuesday. He woke up at 6 a.m. to arrive at the Supreme Court with a crucifix in hand.
“I believe that God is the giver of life and we don't have the right [to decide] whether a baby should live or die,” he said.
He also said that he believed women have been lied to about abortion.
“We say it's their right, and there's a choice,” he said. When girls tell him “I have the right,” his response, he said, is to ask back, “You have the right for what?”
Mallory Finch, from Charlotte, North Carolina, also woke up early but emphasized “it was worth it.” A pro-life podcast host, she called abortion a “human-rights issue.”
“I hope that it overturns Roe,” she said of the case, “but that doesn't mean that our job as pro-lifers is done. It makes this, really, just the beginning.”
Posted on 12/2/2021 11:20 AM (EWTN News - World Catholic News)
Königstein, Germany, Dec 2, 2021 / 05:20 am (CNA).
The event was organized the charity Aid to the Church in Need.
Posted on 12/2/2021 10:23 AM (EWTN News - World Catholic News)
Rome Newsroom, Dec 2, 2021 / 04:23 am (CNA).
Archbishop Michel Aupetit, 70, has led the archdiocese since 2018.
Posted on 12/2/2021 06:30 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON – In the midst of Advent as the Catholic Church prepares for the birth of our Lord at Christmas, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on National Collections expressed his gratitude for the generosity of the Catholic faithful who, even throughout pandemic hardships, have given generously to the national collections that strengthen faith communities and help those in need.
“Catholics who have given to these national collections, even perhaps when they were themselves in need, have shown our world the loving face of Jesus,” said Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. “To the faithful who have prayerfully supported the good work of the Church by giving to these national collections, I wish to extend on behalf of the U.S. bishops my heartfelt gratitude. Your gifts are transforming the lives of struggling communities and hurting people through practical assistance to the poor and by helping to spread the gospel of Jesus in places where the Church is new, small, or challenged.”
Through eight annual special collections administered by the USCCB, Catholics supported the Church’s works of evangelization, catechesis, social justice, and community development locally, nationally, and globally:
- Churches and other houses of worship have long been the first and most important welcoming communities when new refugees arrive in the United States. The Catholic Relief Services Collection helps strengthen the bonds of all religious communities with refugees and with each other.
- With support from the Catholic Communication Campaign, CAPP-USA produced ten videos and six infographics explaining the core concepts of Catholic Social Teaching and how they apply to current social issues.
- In Tennessee, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment works to keep poisons out of streams and wells and helps mining communities transition to sustainable energy with support from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
- A priest in Gallup, NM, whose parish is so remote that families often cannot gather weekly for religious education, received support from the Catholic Home Missions Appeal to run a three-week faith formation camp. It is bringing young people to Jesus – and inspiring them to bring their parents back to the Church.
- Refugees from a civil war in Cameroon received guidance, supported by the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, to help them heal from emotional and spiritual trauma.
- Homeless people in Croatia are turning their lives around with help from Depaul Croatia, which received support from the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.
- Lay leaders in Brazil received nine months of spiritual formation for evangelization training with support from the Collection for the Church in Latin America. They learned how to share the Gospel and lovingly address difficult issues, including sexuality and abuse.
- Thanks to the generosity of Catholics across the United States to the Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund, Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services received essential support for their humanitarian and long-term recovery work and dioceses devastated by hurricanes and other disasters received funding for essential pastoral and reconstruction efforts.
Most of the national collections are taken up once a year by dioceses in their parishes. New in 2021, the online giving platform #iGiveCatholicTogether provided additional opportunities for giving, allowing more people to make an impact through these USCCB programs.
“Even a modest donation to a national collection makes a multi-million-dollar impact as individual gifts are joined with those of Catholics in other parishes across the country,” Bishop Wall said. “By providing an additional platform for support, #iGiveCatholicTogether is helping Catholics to follow Jesus’ command to aid the ‘least of these’ among our brothers and sisters.”
Learn more at: www.usccb.org/committees/national-collections.
Posted on 12/2/2021 00:00 AM (EWTN News - World Catholic News)
Granada, Spain, Dec 1, 2021 / 18:00 pm (CNA).
The beatification ceremony for sixteen martyrs of the Spanish Civil War will be held in February at the Granada Cathedral.
Posted on 12/1/2021 23:52 PM (EWTN News - US Catholic News)
Denver Newsroom, Dec 1, 2021 / 17:52 pm (CNA).
President Joe Biden reaffirmed his support of Roe v. Wade on Wednesday, in response to a question about the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion case before the U.S. Supreme Court that could overturn the nation’s abortion precedent, though he said he did not listen to the oral arguments that took place earlier in the day.
"I didn't see any of the debate today, the presentation today,” Biden said. “And I support Roe v. Wade.”
President Biden expresses his support for Roe v Wade as oral arguments for the historic #DobbsvJackson case are being heard by the Supreme Court. He says, "I support Roe v. Wade. I think it's a rational position to take. And I continue to support it." pic.twitter.com/HwexOxdWMJ— EWTN News Nightly (@EWTNNewsNightly) December 1, 2021
Biden’s presidency, which has repeatedly reaffirmed and expanded access to abortion and abortion rights, has been a source of continued contraversy owing to his Catholic faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”
“If Joe Biden had paid attention today, he would have heard the most rigorous debate the Supreme Court has ever had on abortion — the kind of debate all Americans deserve, but have been denied for almost 50 years since Roe v. Wade,” said Prudence Robertson of the Susan B. Anthony List.
“President Biden may have missed the debate at the Supreme Court today, but it's impossible to miss how much technology has advanced in fetal development, how far women have come in being able to carve their own path without abortion, or the rise of pregnancy help centers across the nation that stand ready to help her not need an abortion,” said Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International.
Megan Wold, an attorney practicing in appellate and constitutional law who is a former law clerk to Justice Samuel Alito and a former deputy solicitor general in Ohio, said that “Roe v. Wade did not hold that abortion was simply rational, it held that abortion was so fundamental that states are obligated to allow abortion on demand until viability. That was wrong when Roe was decided and it is still wrong now.”
Wold continued: “I think the Supreme Court knows that. As we heard today, a majority of the court understands that Roe has no basis in the Constitution or in our history and traditions, and that the passage of time has only further exposed how deeply flawed Roe is.”
Andrea Trudden, senior director of communications and marketing for Heartbeat International, told CNA that if Biden had paid attention he “would have heard that women do not ‘need’ abortion to be successful. Through technological and scientific advances over the last 50 years, women have resources at their fingertips to help them overcome hurdles and set them up for success. Pregnancy help organizations offer compassionate care and support while providing practical needs to pregnant women through parenting classes, job training, and even housing so that no woman feels that abortion is her only option.”
Brian Burch, president of Catholic Vote, said that it was almost impossible for him to believe the president would not have tuned in to Wednesday’s oral arguments “given the historical significance of the case and the politics surrounding it.”
“I can't help but think his conscience is agitating him. He knows he's wrong, and yet persists in doubling down on defending the killing of millions of innocent children," Burtch said of Biden.
During a press conference, Biden defended his support as the “rational position to take,” adding, “And I continue to support it.”
“Even former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg understood Roe was wrongly decided,” Godsey told CNA. “Keeping the country captive to a culture of death is far from rational. Women deserve better than abortion.”
“In 1974, Biden stated that I ‘went too far.’ Indeed, it put us in the company of a tiny handful of nations that allow abortion on demand more than halfway through pregnancy, when unborn babies can clearly feel pain, even up to birth,” Robertson of Susan B. Anthony said.
“That is the radical status quo our ‘devout’ Catholic president swears allegiance to today," she said. "The American people and their elected representatives overwhelmingly reject this extremism. It’s time to restore their right to protect women and children.”
Added Burch: “The Holy Spirit doesn't stop working, and neither should we."
Posted on 12/1/2021 23:22 PM (EWTN News - US Catholic News)
Denver Newsroom, Dec 1, 2021 / 17:22 pm (CNA).
As the wait begins for a decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion case, close attention will be paid to the comments and questions of three conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court that some observers view as possible swing votes: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and Associate Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
At issue is a 15-week abortion ban passed in Mississippi, which challenges the court’s precedent of allowing abortions before viability, roughly 24-28 weeks into pregnancy. Pro-life groups are hoping the court, where conservative appointees have a 6-3 majority, will strike down Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
A number of questions from the justices focused on the principle of stare decisis, a Latin phrase roughly meaning “to stand by things that have been decided,” and understood to mean that the court generally stands by its own precedent.
The justices' questions and comments were made in response to the three lawyers who gave oral arguments in the case on Dec. 1. They are: Scott G. Stewart, the solicitor general of Mississippi; Julie Rikelman, litigation director of the Center for Reproductive Rights, who was representing the Jackson Women’s Health abortion clinic in Mississippi, and U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar, who was representing the Biden administration in opposition to Mississippi’s law.
Here are some of the highlights of what Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Barrett said during the proceeding:
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
Roberts to Stewart: “On stare decisis, I think the first issue you look at is whether or not the decision at issue was wrongly decided. I've actually never quite understood how you evaluate that. Is it wrongly decided based on legal principles and doctrine when it was decided or in retrospect? Because Roe — I mean, there are a lot of cases around the time of Roe, not of that magnitude but the same type of analysis, that went through exactly the sorts of things we today would say were erroneous, but do we look at it from today's perspective, it's going to be a long list of cases that we're going to say were wrongly decided.”
Roberts to Rikelman: “...if you think that the issue is one of choice, that women should have a choice to terminate their pregnancy, that supposes that there is a point at which they've had the fair choice, opportunity to [choose], and why would 15 weeks be an inappropriate line? Because viability, it seems to me, doesn't have anything to do with choice. But, if it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time?”
Roberts to Rikelman: “...I'd like to focus on the 15-week ban because that's not a dramatic departure from viability. It is the standard that the vast majority of other countries have. When you get to the viability standard, we share that standard with the People's Republic of China and North Korea. And I don't think you have to be in favor of looking to international law to set our constitutional standards to be concerned if those are your -- share that particular time period.”
Roberts to Rikelman: “It is certainly true that we cannot base our decisions on whether they're popular or not with the people. Casey seemed to say we shouldn't base our decisions not only on that but whether they're going to — whether they're going to seem popular, and it seemed to me to have a paradoxical conclusion that the more unpopular the decisions are, the firmer the Court should be in not departing from prior precedent, sort of a super stare decisis, but it's super stare decisis for what are regarded as — by many, as the most erroneous decisions. Do you think there is that category? Is there -- or is it just normal stare decisis?”
Roberts to Prelogar: “...your discussion of the reliance interests and the ability of women and men to control their lives in reliance on the right to an abortion, the argument would not be as strong, I think you'll have to concede, given what we're talking about, which is not a prohibition; it's a 15-week line. Is that right?”
Justice Brett Kavanaugh
Kavanaugh to Stewart: “I want to be clear about what you're arguing and not arguing … to be clear, you're not arguing that the Court somehow has the authority to itself prohibit abortion or that this Court has the authority to order the states to prohibit abortion as I understand it, correct?”
Kavanaugh to Stewart: “And as I understand it, you're arguing that the Constitution is silent and, therefore, neutral on the question of abortion? In other words, that the Constitution is neither pro-life nor pro-choice on the question of abortion but leaves the issue for the people of the states or perhaps Congress to resolve in the democratic process? Is that accurate? ... [I]f you were to prevail, the states, a majority of states or states still could, and presumably would, continue to freely allow abortion, many states; some states would be able to do that even if you prevail under your view, is that correct?”
Kavanaugh to Rikelman: “I think the other side would say that the core problem here is that the Court has been forced by the position you're taking … to pick sides on the most contentious social debate in American life and to do so in a situation where they say that the Constitution is neutral on the question of abortion, the text and history, that the Constitution's neither pro-life nor pro-choice on the question of abortion, and they would say, therefore, it should be left to the people, to the states, or to Congress … and we [the Supreme Court] should be scrupulously neutral on the question … I want to give you a chance to respond to that.”
Kavanaugh to Rikelman: “I want to ask a question about stare decisis … history helps think about stare decisis … and the history of how the Court's applied stare decisis, and when you really dig into it, the history tells a somewhat different story, I think, than is sometimes assumed. If you think about some of the most important cases, the most consequential cases in this Court's history, there's a string of them where the cases overruled precedent. Brown v. Board outlawed separate but equal. Baker versus Carr, which set the stage for one person/one vote. West Coast Hotel, which recognized the states' authority to regulate business. Miranda versus Arizona, which required police to give warnings when the right to — about the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present to suspects in criminal custody. Lawrence v. Texas, which said that the state may not prohibit same-sex conduct. Mapp versus Ohio, which held that the exclusionary rule applies to state criminal prosecutions to exclude evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Giddeon versus Wainwright, which guaranteed the right to counsel in criminal cases. Obergefell, which recognized a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. In each of those cases...the Court overruled precedent. … So I assume you agree with most, if not all, the cases I listed there, where the Court overruled the precedent. So the question on stare decisis is why, if … we think that the prior precedents are seriously wrong, if that, why then doesn't the history of this Court's practice with respect to those cases tell us that the right answer is actually a return to the position of neutrality and — and not stick with those precedents in the same way that all those other cases didn't?”
Kavanaugh to Prelogar: “When you have those two interests at stake and both are important, as you acknowledge … why should this Court be the arbiter rather than Congress, the state legislatures, state supreme courts, the people being able to resolve this? And there will be different answers in Mississippi and New York, different answers in Alabama than California because they're two different interests at stake and the people in those states might value those interests somewhat differently. Why is that not the right answer?”
Justice Amy Coney Barrett
Barrett to Stewart: “I have a question … about stare decisis. And I think a lot of the colloquy you've had with all of us has been about the benefits of stare decisis, which I don't think anyone disputes … You know, we have Plessy, Brown. We have Bowers versus Hardwick, to Lawrence. But, in thinking about stare decisis, which is obviously the core of this case, how should we be thinking about it — I mean, Justice Breyer pointed out that in Casey and in some respects, well, it was a different conception of stare decisis insofar as it very explicitly took into account public reaction. Is that a factor that you accept, or are you arguing that we should minimize that factor?. .. [Is there a distinct set of stare decisis considerations applicable to what the Court might decide is a watershed distinction?”
Barrett to Rikelman: “... Petitioner points out that in all 50 states, you can terminate parental rights by relinquishing a child ... and I think the shortest period might have been 48 hours if I'm remembering the data correctly. So it seems to me, seen in that light, both Roe and Casey emphasize the burdens of parenting, and insofar as you and many of your amici focus on the ways in which forced parenting, forced motherhood, would hinder women's access to the workplace and to equal opportunities, it's also focused on the consequences of parenting and the obligations of motherhood that flow from pregnancy. Why don't the safe haven laws take care of that problem? It seems to me that it focuses the burden much more narrowly. There is, without question, an infringement on bodily autonomy, you know, which we have in other contexts, like vaccines. However, it doesn't seem to me to follow that pregnancy and then parenthood are all part of the same burden. And so it seems to me that the choice more focused would be between, say, the ability to get an abortion at 23 weeks or the state requiring the woman to go 15, 16 weeks more and then terminate parental rights at the conclusion. Why didn't you address the safe haven laws and why don't they matter?”
Barrett to Rikelman: “I don't understand why 27 weeks is less workable than 24.”
Barrett to Prelogar: “... I asked Ms. Rikelman this question too, but I'm not sure that I fully understand the government's position or Ms. Rikelman's position. So, on pages 18 and 19 of your brief, you talk about reliance interests and you quote some of the language from Casey about a woman's ability to participate in the social and economic life of the nation. And I mentioned the safe haven laws to Ms. Rikelman, and it seems to me I fully understand the reliance interests. There are the airy ones Justice Kagan was referring to and then there are the more specific ones about a woman's access to abortion as a backup form of birth control in the event that contraception fails so that she need not bear the burdens of pregnancy. But what do you have to say to Petitioners' argument that those reliance interests do not include the reliance interests of parenting and bringing a child into the world when maybe that's not the best thing for her family or her career?”
Note: Transcripts obtained via the U.S. Supreme Court website. Most of the questions presented here have been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Posted on 12/1/2021 23:01 PM (EWTN News - US Catholic News)
Denver Newsroom, Dec 1, 2021 / 17:01 pm (CNA).
On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, concerning Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks. Leading up to and in response following the oral arguments, pro-life leaders and legal experts offered their perspectives.
Below is a collection of statements and social media posts.
Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie
Senior Fellow, The Catholic Association
“Justice Sotomayor's assertions in today's oral argument in the landmark abortion case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health about fetal pain were wholly ignorant of the tremendous scientific advances in fetal medicine. As recently as last year, doctors in the Journal of Medical Ethics wrote, 'Current neuroscientific evidence supports the possibility of fetal pain before the 'consensus' cutoff of 24 weeks' and may be as early as 12 weeks. Not only does medicine agree that fetal anesthesia be administered for fetal surgery, a clear reflection of the medical consensus that unborn babies can feel pain, but like viability, the line marking when they feel pain continues to inch earlier.”
“As a practicing diagnostic radiologist, I can attest that advances in ultrasound technology continue to astonish the medical community as to the humanity of the unborn child, a truth and medical reality that we can now see clearly in the earliest weeks of life. To compare an unborn child to a brain-dead person or a corpse flouts science which tells us that at 15 weeks gestation, a baby's organs are fully formed, her heart pumps 26 quarts of blood a day, and her lungs are already practicing drawing breath. This case is before the Supreme Court today in large part because Americans have seen the evolving science and increasingly want a voice in a question of great moral consequence.”
Associate Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School
“Across the political spectrum, many close court-watchers who would've said at 9:59 a.m. that there is no chance the Court fully reverses Roe are now saying that's the likeliest outcome. The Chief repeatedly asked if there was a middle ground, and no one produced one. On the contrary, the lawyers for the Biden administration and the clinics repeatedly rejected any middle ground.”
“Justice Kavanaugh repeatedly signaled that he thinks abortion is entirely for the states to decide. Justice Barrett showed that the availability of adoption undercuts many of the arguments for a constitutional abortion right. I would be very surprised if Roe survived the summer. "
"This is a moment we've been waiting for for more than 30 yrs. The willingness of the court to take up...this...case means that they...may be very ready to review and reverse the egregiously wrong decision that the court made in 1973."@KristanHawkins https://t.co/0X4gPe7mrG— Students for Life of America (@StudentsforLife) December 1, 2021
Legal Expert & Attorney Practicing Appellate and Constitutional Law
“During today’s argument, the justices signaled that Roe was wrongly decided as an original matter; that Roe has been undermined by subsequent scientific and legal developments; that the Constitution is silent on the question of abortion; and that no right to abortion exists in our country’s history and tradition. These views support overruling Roe.”
“Moreover, no Justice proposed a new standard to replace Roe, and six justices suggested a willingness to eliminate Roe’s key viability holding. It is clear that the court is likely to substantially weaken Roe, or more likely, to overrule Roe altogether."
Today is one of the most important days in the pro-life movement: the day oral arguments are heard for a case they could overturn Roe v. Wade.— Live Action (@LiveAction) December 1, 2021
And we're outside SCOTUS to advocate for life during it. pic.twitter.com/vV4Dg8ho9u
Executive Director, Charlotte Lozier Institute
“Chief Justice John Roberts correctly stated during today’s Dobbs oral arguments that United States abortion law is extreme in comparison to global and European norms. The United States is among a small handful of nations, including China and North Korea, that allow elective abortion more than halfway through pregnancy, or after 20 weeks.”
“I was stunned to hear the abortion industry counsel challenge Chief Justice Roberts on whether or not U.S. abortion law is extreme. The Chief Justice correctly cited CLI research that shows how Roe puts the United States in the same class with China and North Korea, allowing abortion-on-demand until the day of birth. Does the abortion industry not read the Washington Post?”
“Despite Ms. Rikelman’s claims, the black-letter law is clear: 47 out of 50 European nations limit elective abortion prior to the 15-week limit proposed by Mississippi.”
“When we stand for life, we are really protecting women. When we give women real choices and real options, they don't choose abortion.”— Democrats for Life (@demsforlife) December 1, 2021
-@TheRealMayraRdz, DFLA Chair of Hispanic Outreach#DobbsvJackson#RoeVWade
Co-Founder, Healing the Culture
“Roe v. Wade is an archaic judicial artifact on life support, and the Supreme Court should seize this opportunity to dump it on the ash heap of history. But no matter how this decision falls, Roe is a crippled legal dogma that will not long survive.”
“Science, philosophy, and public opinion have passed it by. Our hope is that the Court’s ruling in Dobbs will bury this dead letter from the past and reinstate the principles of human rights that are outlined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.”
“The lethal logic of Roe v. Wade is that your life won’t be protected unless you’ve attained a certain level of development, but this violates the most critical and important principles of civilization—do no harm, the ends don’t justify the means, every human being is intrinsically valuable, the right to life must take priority over the right to liberty, and numerous others. Without these principles, civilization collapses.”
FFL is here at the SCOTUS showing our #prolife support during the #DobbsvJackson hearing. Molly on the left is joined by her daughter Catherine. Thanks to all our supporters who are here today! pic.twitter.com/JwRSn0jObb— Feminists for Life (@Feminists4Life) December 1, 2021
National Legislative Advisor, Human Coalition Action
“Roe was egregiously bad jurisprudence and has resulted in millions of deaths. Ending an innocent human life is not justified by purported reliance interests. Continued fidelity to Roe and Casey is extraordinarily disruptive to a functioning and healthy society, and if the Court’s rulings are to have any integrity, this precedent must not stand any longer. It is time for Roe to be consigned to the dustbin of history.”
“We flatly reject the claim that abortion is necessary to the flourishing of women. We advocate every day for women who are able to parent, work, and succeed amid challenges. Human Coalition Action stands ready to advocate for a culture of life, regardless of whether Roe is overturned. We pushed for the expansion of the safety net in Texas for pregnant and postpartum mothers, and we will continue to advocate for protection of preborn children, and for prioritizing the health and safety of mothers.”
President and Chief Counsel, Thomas More Society
“As the high court hears arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson, we face the first real legal opportunity in over a decade to topple Roe v. Wade. The 1973 decision that legalized abortion in America has left a tragic trail of human carnage: more than sixty-two million dead children and countless broken families and wounded souls.”
4️⃣ Precedent/stare decisis— Susan B. Anthony List #ModernizeOurLaw (@SBAList) December 1, 2021
The Supreme Court has overruled itself in the past to correct egregious wrongs.
It can and should do the same in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization 9/10
Dr. David Prentice
Vice President of Research, Charlotte Lozier Institute
“Respectfully, we suggest that Justice Sotomayor follow the science, which has not stood still since Roe was decided in 1973. Modern research is revealing that unborn babies do feel pain at an early stage, and we see that science in action regularly during fetal surgery, in which doctors apply analgesia in utero to prevent the suffering of the unborn child.”
Posted on 12/1/2021 22:22 PM (EWTN News - US Catholic News)
Denver Newsroom, Dec 1, 2021 / 16:22 pm (CNA).
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor drew criticism from an accomplished physician for comments that appeared to draw a comparison between an unborn child and a corpse, suggesting that fetal movements recoiling from pain can be likened to reflexes in dead bodies.
The comments came as Sotomayor attempted to create question marks within the larger argument for the humanity of unborn babies during the oral arguments Dec. 1 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a potentially landmark abortion case that could overturn Roe v. Wade.
“To compare an unborn child to a brain-dead person or a corpse flouts science which tells us that at 15 weeks gestation, a baby's organs are fully formed, her heart pumps 26 quarts of blood a day, and her lungs are already practicing drawing breath,” said Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, M.D., a radiology specialist with more than 20 years of experience.
Sotomayor’s comments came on the heels of Mississippi Solicitor General Scott G. Stewart’s argument that advances in medical science over the past 30 years have helped Americans grow in “knowledge and concern” about whether the unborn child is “fully human,” which are based in part on increased knowledge of the pain experienced by fetuses in the womb.
“Virtually every state defines a brain death as death. Yet, the literature is filled with episodes of people who are completely and utterly brain dead responding to stimuli,” Sotomayor said.
“There's about 40% of dead people who, if you touch their feet, the foot will recoil. There are spontaneous acts by dead brain people. So I don't think that a response to — by a fetus necessarily proves that there's a sensation of pain or that there's consciousness,” the justice said.
Christie, co-author of a science-based amicus brief presented to the Supreme Court in the Dobbs case, criticized the Supreme Court justice for her assertions, calling them “wholly ignorant of the tremendous scientific advances in fetal medicine.”
“As recently as last year, doctors in the Journal of Medical Ethics wrote, 'Current neuroscientific evidence supports the possibility of fetal pain before the 'consensus' cutoff of 24 weeks' and may be as early as 12 weeks,” Christie said.
“Not only does medicine agree that fetal anesthesia be administered for fetal surgery, a clear reflection of the medical consensus that unborn babies can feel pain, but like viability, the line marking when they feel pain continues to inch earlier,” Christie added.
Christie emphasized that the medical awareness of the humanity of the unborn child has made its way to ordinary citizens, and not just doctors.
“This case is before the Supreme Court today in large part because Americans have seen the evolving science and increasingly want a voice in a question of great moral consequence,” she said.
Several pro-life organizations have extensive scientific information regarding the humanity of the unborn child, including the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Posted on 12/1/2021 22:12 PM (EWTN News - US Catholic News)
Washington D.C., Dec 1, 2021 / 16:12 pm (CNA).
Oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization have concluded. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutionality of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. Here are some of the more notable happenings in and around the court on Wednesday.
1. Opening argument: The court should overturn Roe and Casey
Mississippi Solicitor General Scott G. Stewart opened his argument by claiming that Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey "have no basis in the Constitution," and have "no home in our history or traditions.
“They've damaged the democratic process. They poison the law. They've choked off compromise for 50 years,” he said.
Stewart said those cases have "kept this court at the center of a political battle that it can never resolve.”
“Nowhere else does this court recognize a right to end a human life," he said.
2. The two big words of the day: stare decisis
“Stare decisis,” the legal term for “precedent”, was a hot topic Dec. 1, with nearly every justice raising the issue of how legal precedent should be applied to both sides of the case. Justice Brett Kavanaugh seemed to indicate that precedent is not necessarily a gold standard, noting that the court has overturned many high-profile cases.
"I think that is sometimes assumed if you think about some of the most important cases, the most consequential cases in this court's history, there's a string of them where the cases overruled precedent," said Kavanaugh, singling out Brown v. Board of Education, Lawrence v. Texas, and Miranda v. Arizona as examples.
3. Another hot topic: viability
Chief Justice John Roberts asked the lawyer for Jackson Women’s Health Organization if a 15-week cutoff for abortions could be more workable as a legal standard than viability.
"It seems to me that (viability) doesn't have anything to do with choice," said Roberts. "If it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time?"
Jackson Women’s Health’s counsel said it would not, as enacting a pre-viability line would result in states moving to ban abortions earlier and earlier in a pregnancy.
Since the “viability” standard for abortion law was established in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, improved neonatal care has changed when babies are considered viable. Now, babies born at the 23rd week of pregnancy are statistically likely to survive. The earliest premature baby to survive, a boy named Richard Scott William Hutchison, was born when his mother was 21 weeks pregnant.
4. Pro-lifers rallied in large numbers…
Hundreds of people braved the near-freezing temperatures on Wednesday morning for the “Empower Women Promote Life” rally outside the Supreme Court. The all-female lineup of speakers included members of Congress, pro-life leaders of all politcal backgrounds, including Terrisa Bukovinac, Dr. Grazie Christie, EWTN News in Depth host Montse Alvarado, Penny Nance, Jeanne Mancini, Erika Bachiochi, and Kristen Day of Democrats for Life of America.
5. ...While others shouted their abortions.
Three women cheered as they allegedly took mifepristone, the first pill in an abortion-drug regimen, while standing in front of the Supreme Court. A video of the act was shared by the organization “Shout Your Abortion,” an organization which seeks to normalize abortion.
Erin Matson, executive director of Reproaction, called it “epic action.”
Communications professional Beth Baumann called the video “pretty monstrous,” and remarked, “They're acting like they're taking a tequila shot, not an abortion pill.”
6. Will history look at Roe the same way it regards Plessy v. Ferguson?
In his rebuttal, Stewart, representing Mississippi, compared Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health to Brown v. Board of Education.
"In closing, I would say that in the dissent of Plessy v. Ferguson, Justice Harlan emphasized that there is no caste system here; and the humblest in our country is the peer of the most powerful. Our Constitution neither knows nor tolerate distinctions on the basis of race," he said.
"It took 58 years for this court to recognize the truth of those realities in a decision. And that was the greatest decision that this court ever reached. We're running on 50 years of Roe,” said Stewart.
Roe “is an egregiously wrong decision that has inflicted tremendous damage on our country, and will continue to do so and take innumerable human lives" until it is overruled, he added.