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Catholics for Choice Responds to “Stunning” Supreme Court Order Allowing Texas Abortion Ban to Take Effect

September 2, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 2, 2021
Contact: John Becker, Communications Specialist
Phone: (202) 203-0931

Catholics for Choice Responds to “Stunning” Supreme Court Order Allowing Texas Abortion Ban to Take Effect

WASHINGTON – Catholics for Choice, which uplifts and amplifies the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom, issued the following statement today from President Jamie L. Manson after the Supreme Court released an unsigned, single-paragraph 5-4 decision just before midnight on Wednesday refusing to block SB 8 – Texas’ dangerous and dystopian abortion ban that outlaws abortions after six weeks and deputizes private individuals to hunt down and sue anyone who “aids or abets” those seeking care:

“Just when we thought we couldn’t be more shocked by the behavior of this Supreme Court, they pull a stunt like this: in the dead of night, on the most threadbare of procedural pretexts, they issue an unsigned order that effectively revokes a long-established right in the nation’s second-most-populous state without even a single court hearing to consider the constitutionality of the law in question. Justice Sotomayor is exactly right: such a move is nothing short of ‘stunning.’

“By allowing Texas’ draconian and flagrantly unconstitutional abortion ban to take effect while it’s still being challenged in court, the five conservative justices – without even having the courage to sign their names – have brought terror, chaos, and uncertainty to women, girls, other pregnant people, doctors, and medical professionals in the Lone Star State, as well as the abortion funds, practical support networks, clergy, and activists who work tirelessly to ensure access to basic healthcare for all. Even before this nefarious policy took effect, Texans faced virtually insurmountable barriers to exercising their human right to abortion, disproportionately harming Black, Indigenous, and people of color; young people; immigrants; those struggling to make ends meets; people living with disabilities; and LGBTQ people. SB 8 only exacerbates these unconscionable disparities, cruelly isolating pregnant people and intimidating providers in a state where 96% of counties have no abortion clinics.

“We call on the conservative majority of the Supreme Court to stop burying their heads in the sand, as Justice Sotomayor so aptly put it, and start respecting ‘the sanctity of its precedents and the rule of law’ instead of aiding and abetting the vicious right-wing assault on reproductive freedom. As one of six Catholic justices, Sotomayor espouses what is best about the Catholic tradition: a commitment to justice for the most vulnerable and the protection of human dignity and rights. Other justices, who so proudly proclaim their Catholic faith outside the Court, would do well to follow her example.”

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.