The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a statement on Wednesday about a case — June Medical Services v. Russo — now being considered by the High Court.
The bishops' statement covered the importance of the Louisiana law under review, as well as what abortion does to the health of a woman and the life of her child:
Women, their bodies, and their babies are immeasurably valuable. The violent act of abortion not only destroys the lives of unborn children, but often severely harms women's physical, psychological and spiritual health. Louisiana is right to prioritize women over abortion industry profits. All states, not only Louisiana, have a strong interest in regulating a procedure which is lethal to children and immensely damaging to women. It adds insult to injury, and speaks to the callousness of the abortion industry, that providers are seeking to overturn basic, standard protections for women seeking this life-altering procedure. The Catholic Church encourages all people of faith to pray about the outcome to this very important case. We also ask all to pray for the women who are compelled to seek abortion — that they may find alternatives that value their health and well-being and the lives of their precious children.
The case could greatly limit abortion in the state of Louisiana and — as a precedent — could have serious ramifications across the country. The current law requires every abortionist to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Most do not, and most hospitals are hesitant to award these privileges to abortionists, whose relationship with the hospital is often minimal, and who bring an extra dimension of controversy.
Pro-life forces see the Louisiana law as protecting women; abortion advocates view it as limiting women's access to abortion. Both see the law, and the case before the High Court, as having widespread implications that could potentially alter the future of abortion in the United States.
The USCCB earlier this election year agreed on renewing a statement emphasizing that abortion is the pre-eminent issue that continues to face us today. Pope Francis also reportedly told a gathering of U.S. bishops in Rome that protection for the unborn is a "pre-eminent priority."
But a majority of U.S. Catholics have consistently voted for Democratic presidential candidates who support unfettered access to abortion under Roe v. Wade. That pattern seemed to stop in 2016 when more Catholics voted for President Trump. Before Trump, in recent post-Roe history — with the exception of voting for Ronald Reagan twice in the 1980s — a majority of U.S. Catholics voted for candidates representing what conservatives now call the "Party of Death."
The U.S. bishops and court-watchers at large eagerly await the Supreme Court decision of this Louisiana case, which could have lasting ramifications for the future of prenatal homicide in America. As the pro-life arm of the USCCB states, "The Catholic Church encourages all people of faith to pray about the outcome to this very important case."