‘Today is a day to Give Thanks and Celebrate.” Conservatives Praise Roe v. Wade Overturning

Catholic leader says ‘being pro-life demands more than opposition to abortion,’ calls for expansion of family services

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was greeted as a moral victory by local conservatives and some faith leaders who saw the ruling as one that would save countless future lives.

While they rejoiced that years of pro-life advocacy had paid off, they also said the decision did not go far enough and vowed they would fight for a national ban on abortions.

“Today is a day to give thanks and celebrate,” Cardinal-designate Robert McElroy of the Catholic Diocese of San Diego said in a statement on the diocese’s website. “Catholic social teaching holds that life begins at conception, which is a belief shared by millions of Americans regardless of religious faith.”

McElroy described the court action as “the culmination of prayer and decades of legislative advocacy, life-affirming events, committing time and resources to pregnancy centers, and walking with families facing an unplanned pregnancy.”

He also wrote that in many ways, their work had just begun.

“We must work to ensure that California law protects the rights of the unborn,” he wrote. “And we must emphasize that being pro-life demands more than opposition to abortion. It demands we do everything we can to support families, to provide access to quality health care, affordable housing, good jobs and decent housing.”

“Support for children and families cannot stop at birth,” he added.

The University of San Diego, a Catholic school not directly governed by the Diocese of San Diego, also issued a statement in support of the decision.

As a contemporary Catholic institution, we agree with the tenets of the Church on protecting the right to life of the unborn,” the statement read. “This is reflected in the statements issued today by Bishop Robert McElroy and alsothe U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.”

Immigration attorney Esther Valdés Clayton, president of the Coronado Unified School District Board of Trustees and a frequent commentator on KUSI-TV, was vacationing with her husband in Wales when she heard the news on the BBC. She tweeted, “One of the biggest Human Rights abuses of our time has just ended today. #RoeOverturned.”

“It’s been ongoing coverage here on the BBC,” she said in a call from the UK.

“There were answered prayers from those of us who have been fighting for this day to come, not just in terms of money, but protests, election victories, voting consistently for pro-life advocates,” she said. “It was definitely the culmination for a lot of us of decades worth of work. I joined the pro-life movement in 1998 when my daughter was born. So it’s been two decades of protesting in front of Planned Parenthood.”

Like McElroy, Valdés Clayton sees more work ahead.

“For a lot of us, we want to see a national ban on abortion,” she said. “We want (Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization) to be federal legislation, not just left as states rights. And that’s to ensure that every person has the right to life as enshrined in the Constitution.”

At Cathedral Catholic High School in Carmel Valley, math teacher Christine LaPorte saw the ruling as a victory championing the dignity of human life, and she said in an email that the decision left her feeling relief and gratitude.

Click here to read the full article in the San Diego Union Tribune

If Supreme Court Overturns Roe, Southern California Could Be Haven For Choice And Outrage

More abortions and more people casting votes in November.

Also, more outrage and frustration.

All of those disparate trends and emotions could come to Southern California if the Supreme Court overturns or severely limits Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that guaranteed a federal constitutional right to an abortion.

On the abortion front, the upturn is already underway.

Since September, when Texas enacted a controversial law that outlaws abortion after a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat (typically around six weeks), the number of out-of-state women seeking to terminate their pregnancies at Planned Parenthood clinics in Southern California has roughly quadrupled, according to officials from local chapters of that organization.

But that trend could kick into overdrive if Roe is struck down as a leaked Supreme Court draft decision suggested. At least 26 states are poised to ban or severely restrict abortion if and when the Supreme Court takes action, states that include about 58% of American women of child-bearing age.

In a post-Roe world, many of those women will turn to California, where abortion rules are arguably the most lenient in the country.

“It could be a deluge,” said Nichole Ramirez, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood’s nine-office region in Orange and San Bernardino counties.

“The dismantling (of Roe) would impact about 36 million Americans, most of whom are women of color and women without money,” Ramirez added.

A spark?

On the political front, consultants of all political stripes believe the question isn’t if but how much a move to strike down Roe will animate voters. And many predict the biggest upturn will come from voters who previously weren’t expected to turn out in big numbers – younger women.

“This year’s mid-term was going to be one of the most boring, low-turnout elections we’ve had in a long time,” said Adam Probolsky, an Irvine-based political researcher and pollster.

“But now, with that draft by (Supreme Court Justice Samuel) Alito out there, you have every 18- to 25-year-old woman, every younger voter in general, with a keen interest in the outcome of this election, from federal offices on down,” Probolsky said.

“Nobody can say right now exactly how much this will change things, but every political consultant in this country is recalibrating what they expect for turnout in November.”

And on the outrage front, local pro-life advocates were thrilled that the Supreme Court might be poised to give their cause the win they’ve sought for two generations – but they saw an anti-Roe ruling as a starting point.

“We are cautiously optimistic. … The ruling would help make it clear to everyone who is paying attention that there is no right to abortion in this nation,” said Susan S. Arnall, vice president of legal affairs for the Right to Life League, a Pasadena-based group that pushes for tougher abortion laws.

And while Arnall said an anti-Roe ruling would “absolutely buoy pro-life forces,” she expressed frustration with several proposals in Sacramento to make abortion easier and more affordable in California.

Her group’s fight against California’s abortion stance, Arnall suggested Tuesday, would only intensify if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe.

“I’m flying to Sacramento tomorrow.”

Divide widens

If California has the most lenient abortion laws in the country, it might be because public opinion backs that.

While national polls show roughly two-thirds of Americans don’t want to see Roe overturned by the court, California voters are particularly supportive of a woman’s right to choose.  A June 2021 poll from the California Public Policy Institute found 77% of state voters – including 59% of Republicans – don’t want to see Roe erased.

That context was clear in Sacramento late Monday and into Tuesday.

Minutes after news broke about the Supreme Court draft ruling, Gov. Gavin Newsom took to Twitter to say, “California will not sit back. We are going to fight like hell.” By Tuesday, lawmakers were pushing to codify the right to an abortion into the state Constitution.

But over the past year, in anticipation of an anti-Roe ruling by the Supreme Court, state lawmakers, health providers and others have been pushing for new legislation to widen abortion access statewide.

At least 10 bills are being discussed in Sacramento that would do everything from cover out-of-pocket expenses for women, protect health providers from civil suits filed against them in other states and expand the world of medical experts who can legally provide an abortion procedure or prescribe a medical abortion.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday encourage passage of a State Senate bill that would make L.A. County a safe haven for women seeking abortions and other reproductive care.

One proposal, from Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie Norris, D-Laguna Beach, would train health care workers to provide abortions in underserved parts of the state. Another would create a reproductive health pilot program in Los Angeles County.

Still, news that Roe might go away also sparked an instant response among activists – and from people who say they don’t consider themselves activists but said they’ll speak out against the government having control over a woman’s decision to have a child.

Late Tuesday, groups throughout Southern California were planning to demonstrate in support of women’s rights.

“It is part of a national response,” Riverside resident Chani Beeman, who for many years has been an advocate for women’s rights, said about plans Tuesday by several groups in Southern California to demonstrate in support of women’s rights.

“It will be a wave across the country.”

Connie Ransom, who helped lead the 2017 Riverside Women’s March, planned to attend a rally in Riverside.

“This is just astonishing that this has come to pass,” Ransom said

“It’s just going backwards. It’s like (the current national debate on) voting rights — it’s taking away the individual freedom of women.”

Click here to read the full article at the OC Register

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