An unprecedented leak of a draft opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court took place suggesting that the court may overturn Roe v. Wade, a 1973 decision that broadly legalized abortion in the United States. Overturning this decision and returning jurisdiction over abortion to the states has been a goal of its opponents for nearly 50 years.
Even though U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts has acknowledged that the leaked draft is authentic, it is important to remember that it is still a draft and not yet an official opinion of the Supreme Court. The court is expected to release its final opinion in late June or early July in the case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization which challenges the constitutionality of a law Mississippi adopted in 2018 that bans most abortion operations after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy.
In reaction to the draft opinion, supporters of abortion rights in California, led by Gov. Gavin Newsom, have proposed more than 20 pieces of legislation, including an amendment to the state constitution that would make abortion a constitutional right in the state.
Below is a statement released by the California Catholic Conference on behalf of Bishop Robert McElroy, of the San Diego Diocese, and all 12 California bishops acknowledging the leak and asking Catholics and others concerned about the sanctity of life to oppose amending the state constitution to create any right to abortion.
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