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Catholics for Choice Condemns U.S. Bishops for Urging Supreme Court to Restrict Abortion Rights

August 4, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Contact: John Becker, Communications Specialist
Phone: 202-203-0931

Catholics for Choice Condemns U.S. Bishops for Urging Supreme Court to Restrict Abortion Rights

WASHINGTON – Catholics for Choice, which uplifts and amplifies the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom, denounced the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) today for asking the Supreme Court to uphold a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed on July 27 on behalf of a group of anti-choice religious organizations, the U.S. bishops’ conference argues that Roe v. Wade – the 1973 decision recognizing the constitutional right to abortion, reaffirmed in 1992 at all points prior to fetal viability – was “deeply flawed” and wrongly decided, and should be overruled. The bishops’ brief further declares that a constitutional right to abortion does not exist at all and has “never met with general acceptance by the American public.”

Catholics for Choice President Jamie L. Manson said:

“The USCCB’s brief to the Supreme Court in support of Mississippi’s severe, extreme, and unconstitutional abortion ban is as outrageous as it is predictable. U.S. bishops were a primary architect of the anti-choice movement, and for decades, they have spent millions of dollars trying to end legal abortion, control women’s bodies, and persuade Americans to oppose reproductive rights. But they have failed spectacularly: a majority of Americans support legal abortion, as does a clear majority of Catholics. If the bishops wish to continue their unholy anti-choice crusade, they should at least do so honestly and stop falsely claiming a broad basis of public support that, quite simply, does not exist.”

Indeed, polls repeatedly show that most Americans support legal access to abortion. A nationwide AP-NORC poll, conducted in June after the Supreme Court agreed to review Mississippi’s abortion ban, found that 57% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, with 61% saying it should be legal in all or most cases during the first trimester of pregnancy. Strong majorities want Roe v. Wade upheld, not overturned, and Gallup, which has been tracking Americans’ opinions on the issue since 1975, has consistently found that most favor abortion remaining legal, at least under certain circumstances. And among U.S. Catholics, decisive majorities also support legal abortion and want Roe v. Wade to remain the law of the land.

“The U.S. Catholic bishops’ radical, right-wing views on abortion are grossly out of touch – not only with the beliefs of most Americans, but even the people in their own pews,” said Manson. “To pretend otherwise is to disobey the Ninth Commandment’s prohibition on bearing false witness. The Supreme Court should listen to the voices of everyday Catholics as they decide this issue, not the loud cries of those who deceptively claim to represent them.”

Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to a person’s well-being and respect, and affirm the capacity of all people to make moral decisions about their lives.