Area pro-life leaders are encouraging prayer to ask God to guide the five conservative justices on the nine-member Supreme Court to strike down the nearly half-century-old landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.
The request for prayers comes in the wake of the unprecedented leak of an initial draft opinion that indicates the high court’s conservative majority is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade. Such a decision would negate the 1973 ruling, which made abortion legal nationwide, and return the matter to the states. In Wisconsin, abortion is illegal.
According to Dcn. James Matthias, Respect Life Ministry Director for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, it is important to first pray for the Supreme Court to uphold the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which the Supreme Court heard the arguments for in December. The opinion is expected to be released in June.
“Of course, the whole Roe v. Wade is a by-product of the Dobbs v. Jackson case,” Dcn. Matthias said. “If they uphold Dobbs, where 15 weeks is the limit, it would be hard to let Casey v. Planned Parenthood stand that set abortion limits at 28 weeks. And that was just a spin-off of Roe v. Wade.”
Attorneys for the USCCB predicted Roe would be overturned based on arguments heard in December and the Justices’ response to the case. In the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Dcn. Matthias explained they plan to emphasize the many programs already in place, such as a possible increase in workload for pregnancy help centers.
Dcn. Matthias explained he was already planning on re-emphasizing existing programs to help pregnant and new moms before and after birth.
“It has always been and will be helping moms before and after birth, not just about being pro-birth,” he said.
Another program, “Walking with Moms in Need” began a couple of years ago but grew slowly due to the pandemic. Each parish is asked to adopt a pregnancy help center and assist them with time, treasure and talent.
“We would also like each parish to have someone dedicated to Respect Life so that when a pregnant woman comes in for help, there is someone who can walk with her, help her find resources and get the parish involved in support for every pregnant mom who needs help,” Dcn. Matthias said.
Dcn. Matthias encourages prayer to overturn Roe v. Wade and to sign up for periodic updates at www.prayfordobbs.com. The website offers a monthly national prayer call, which focuses on a different topic related to the case each month.
Parish leaders can spread the word about Pray for Dobbs and provide resources through the pray for Dobbs website. They are also invited to pray intercessions for life at Mass for the Supreme Court’s upcoming decisions in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to protect women and children from the harm of abortion.
Two other programs Dcn. Matthias suggests are also available for expectant and post-abortive parents.
Project Rachel, begun by the late Vicki Thorn, is a program for women and men who have experienced abortion. The program offers hope, healing and forgiveness, and a route to God’s merciful love. Trained priests, counselors, and religious and laypersons will be available to assist those in the aftermath of abortion. https://hopeafterabortion.com/
Catholic Charities is also available for mothers experiencing an unexpected pregnancy by helping parents develop tools for good decision making. Expectant parents can carefully explore all their options and make a thoughtful and appropriate plan for their baby, whether it be an adoption plan or a parenting plan. Services are funded through the United Way and Catholic Stewardship Appeal and are provided at no charge to the client. For more information, contact Jennifer Layton, director of Child Welfare Services, at 414-771-2881, ext. 4167, or firstname.lastname@example.org
“There are several other things we are doing but even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, we will have plenty to do as we walk with moms in need,” Dcn. Matthias said.
According to Dan Miller, state director for Pro-Life Wisconsin, the recent document leak has never happened in the history of the Supreme Court.
“This is gas-lighting in its worst form,” he said. “The conservative majority in America will not put up with this form of bullying by the left. This has only emboldened our resolve to see abortion in the ash heap of history.”
Miller encourages prayer for the five conservative Supreme Court Justices so that they don’t fold under the pressure of protests.
“Our prayer at Pro-Life Wisconsin has always been that we live to see the day where no more babies die and no more mothers cry. We give thanks to God for his patience with our nation and beg his almighty forgiveness. One baby lost to abortion is too many, but 64 million is fully one-fifth of our nation’s population.”
Miller adds that the work of the pro-life movement has just begun. If the opinion is published as SCOTUS’ final judgment, he said we will have to “work diligently in all states to protect our pre-born brothers and sisters in Christ from the tyranny that we now know the states are capable of, thanks in part to the pandemic.”
“This should be every conservative Wisconsin legislator’s clarion call to pass the Personhood Amendment, giving pre-born human beings full protection under the 14th amendment as a full legal person,” he said.