30 Catholic Democrats Sign Letter on Dobbs Anniversary Vowing to Support Abortion

Rep. Rosa DeLauro further denounced states that have enacted abortion bans and restrictions, attacking ongoing efforts by some pro-life groups to ban mifepristone, the abortion drug most commonly used throughout the country.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaking outside of San Francisco's City Hall.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaking outside of San Francisco's City Hall. (photo: Kim Wilson / Shutterstock)

Thirty Catholic Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter on the first anniversary of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision vowing to continue to support abortion despite the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

The group of Democrats, led by Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro and including former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, cited their Catholic faith and St. John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Christifideles Laici as reasons to support abortion.

“The fundamental tenets of our Catholic faith — social justice, conscience, and religious freedom — compel us to defend a woman’s right to access abortion,” the letter stated. “Our faith unfailingly promotes the common good, prioritizes the dignity of every human being, and highlights the need to provide a collective safety net to our most vulnerable.”

“We are committed to making real the basic principles at the heart of Catholic social teaching: helping the poor, disadvantaged, and the oppressed; protecting the least among us; and ensuring that all Americans of every faith are given meaningful opportunities to share in the blessings of this great country,” the letter said.

Saturday marked one year since the Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade case. The decision in Dobbs allowed abortion bans and restrictions in multiple states across the country to go into effect.

By overturning Roe v. Wade, the letter said that “the justices stripped women of their right to abortion and escalated an ongoing reproductive health care crisis in this country.”

According to the Democrats who signed the letter, abortion bans and restrictions “disproportionately harm those who already endure poverty, discrimination, and racism.”

“As Catholics, we believe all individuals are free to make their own personal decisions about their bodies, families, and futures,” the Democrats said. “Our faith and our country’s Constitution demand that no person impose a single religious viewpoint into law or regulation.”

“As Catholic Democrats who embrace the vocation and mission of the laity as expressed by the late Pope John Paul II in his apostolic exhortation Christifideles Laici,” the letter continued, “we believe that the Church is the ‘people of God,’ called to be a moral force in the broadest sense.”

Christifideles Laici was published in 1988 after the 1987 bishops’ synod on the vocation and mission of the laity.

In his exhortation, John Paul II called on the lay faithful to fully join in the Church’s mission to confront the growing indifference toward religion and violations against the dignity of the human person.

“Who is able to count the number of babies unborn because they have been killed in their mothers’ wombs, children abandoned and abused by their own parents, children who grow without affection and education?” John Paul II wrote. “Despite all this, then, humanity is able to hope. Indeed it must hope: the living and personal Gospel, Jesus Christ himself, is the ‘good news’ and the bearer of joy that the Church announces each day, and to whom the Church bears testimony before all people.”

“The lay faithful have an essential and irreplaceable role in this announcement and in this testimony: through them the Church of Christ is made present in the various sectors of the world as a sign and source of hope and of love,” John Paul II wrote. 

In a separate statement of her own on the Dobbs anniversary, DeLauro decried the decision, saying it was made by an “activist conservative Supreme Court” that “disregard[ed] science to strip away a woman’s fundamental and constitutional right to make her own health care decisions.”

DeLauro further denounced states that have enacted abortion bans and restrictions since the Dobbs decision and attacked an ongoing effort by some pro-life groups to ban mifepristone, the abortion drug most commonly used throughout the country.

“The past year has made clear the goal of GOP lawmakers across the nation and here in Congress: a total ban on abortions across the nation,” DeLauro said. “We see this clearly through their unscientific assault on access to mifepristone.”

The case DeLauro is referring to is Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. The Food and Drug Administration (AHM v. FDA). In this case, several pro-life groups, being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, are suing the FDA for allegedly ignoring its own research and testing standards when approving the abortion drug mifepristone in 2000. 

In April, federal Texas judge Matthew Kacsmaryk issued a ruling overturning the FDA’s abortion drug approval. However, the Supreme Court later blocked the Texas ruling from taking effect while the case continues to work its way through appeals courts.

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