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Second Anniversary of Dobbs Decision Is Day for Thanksgiving, Reflection, Bishop Says

Pro-life demonstrators celebrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington June 24, 2022, as the court ruled in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion case, overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. (Photo: OSV News/Michael A. McCoy, Reuters)

WASHINGTON — The two-year anniversary June 24 of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade is a time to “reflect on where we have been and where we are going,” said the chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ pro-life committee. 

“It is a day for thanksgiving to God for answering our prayers and blessing the many years of hard work,” said Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, in a June 20 statement.

The bishop noted that although the Dobbs decision ended the “tragic reign of Roe v. Wade,” he stressed that the work is not over for the pro-life community. The court’s reversal of its 1973 decision brings “new opportunities to protect innocent human life,” he said.

Bishop Burbidge said some states have done this, “while others have enacted extreme abortion policies.”

Since the Dobbs ruling, 14 states have nearly banned all abortions, three states have enacted six-week bans on the procedure and at least nine states have no abortion restrictions. Several states have added amendments to their state constitutions allowing abortions and at least 10 states will put this up for a vote in ballot initiatives this November.

Bishop Burbidge said that in the past two years, Congress “has been promoting many pro-abortion policies while largely ignoring our calls to prioritize maternal health and support for children and families in need.” 

He urged Catholics “to engage their elected officials on all issues endangering life.”

He also pointed out that as the U.S. Catholic Church takes part in the current National Eucharistic Revival, it is a unique time for Catholics to “rededicate ourselves to serving the cause of life.”

He urged Catholic parishes to “continue to welcome, embrace, and accompany women facing unexpected or challenging pregnancies, offering material, emotional, and spiritual support,” and he thanked those who have helped with parish and community initiatives such as Walking with Moms in Need.

The bishop also invited Catholics to sign up for the USCCB’s “Respect Life: Prayer and Action” page to receive alerts to Congress and government leaders on pro-life legislation and to learn ways to “strengthen a culture of life in your community.”

To mark the second anniversary of the Dobbs decision, pro-abortion demonstrators planned to hold a women’s strike in front of the Supreme Court June 24 and organizers called for a day of action across the country, telling women and girls to not go to work or school, and only spend money at women-owned businesses.

This year, the Supreme Court took up two abortion cases. In one, it unanimously rejected a challenge to the public’s access to the abortion pill mifepristone. An opinion has not been released yet for the second case which will determine if Idaho’s abortion ban prevents doctors in emergency rooms from performing abortions when a pregnant woman is facing dangerous complications.