Associate professor of religion and gender studies at the University of Southern California Sheila Briggs, a Catholics for Choice board member, asserted in an op-ed that the striking down of Roe v. Wade would jeopardize religious liberty.
“The imminent overturning of Roe vs. Wade is a disaster for women. It is also a disaster for the Catholic Church, whose hierarchy in America has made opposition to abortion central to its mission,” Briggs wrote. “As the devastating effects on women’s lives become visible after the Supreme Court’s judgment, Catholics are going to feel increasing shame over what their church has done.”
“Precisely because the U.S. protects religious liberty, Catholics who oppose abortion rights do not have to justify their religious beliefs and their religiously motivated conduct to me or, more importantly, to a court of law. By the same token, a religiously motivated decision to not have an abortion should not be imposed on those of us who do not share the religious beliefs,” she contended.
“The overturning of Roe vs. Wade would threaten religious liberty. If such a ruling remains in effect for any length of time, it will prevent hundreds of thousands, eventually millions, of women from acting upon their conscience. This will result in serious harm for women and their families — and one of the bulwarks of democratic society will be weakened,” Briggs claimed.
Last week, a leaked Supreme Court draft majority opinion revealed that the high court appears poised to overturn the landmark abortion-related ruling — such a decision would not impose a federal ban on abortions, but would allow for states to ban abortions.
“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” the draft opinion states.
While pro-life advocates would celebrate such a move, pro-choice proponents have been up in arms over the court’s potential plans.
Senate Democrats were unable to advance pro-choice legislation on Wednesday. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined with Republicans in voting against advancing the measure — advancing it would have required 60 votes. Manchin said prior to the vote on Wednesday that the bill “is not [a] Roe v. Wade codification,” but that the measure “expands abortion.”