Abortion activists target churches on Mother's Day for wave of protests

Organizers are planning to target churches as they protest the leaked draft opinion that indicates the high court could overturn Roe v. Wade.

Updated: May 6, 2022 - 11:31am

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Activists who support abortion plan to protest on Mother's Day outside of Catholic churches across the country, citing the Catholic faith of several of the Supreme Court justices apparently poised to strike down the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion. 

The planned protests Sunday would follow the days of protests outside of the Supreme Court and other public squares in the U.S. that have followed a news report Monday about a leaked opinion by Justice Samuel Alito that showed a decision by the high court's conservative majority on a Mississippi abortion case would effectively overturn Roe v. Wade, which gives women the constitutional right to an abortion. 

An abortion rights activist group Ruth Sent Us, posted a video to Twitter encouraging activists to disrupt church services.

"Whether you’re a 'Catholic for Choice', ex-Catholic, of other or no faith, recognize that six extremist Catholics set out to overturn Roe. Stand at or in a local Catholic Church Sun May 8," the group said.

Five of the court's six conservative-leaning justices –  Alito, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Chief Justice John Roberts – are Catholics. The homes of those justices also have been targeted for protest.

The sixth to whom the group is likely referring – Justice Neil Gorsuch – is Episcopalian.

Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, another group, has organized a week of action that is set to begin on Mother's Day – May 8 – with actions outside of churches.

"This action is called for by a collective of Spanish speaking women’s rights groups + activists across the country, including from Bride’s March, Dominican Women’s Development Center, Ni Una Menus, and Las 17," reads the group's organizing document. "Several cities will be hosting protests outside of prominent churches in their towns, these can look like a group of people holding signs wearing Handmaids Tale outfits, passing out flyers outside to church goers or doing a die-in."

The president of the Catholic advocacy organization Catholic Vote, Brian Burch, wrote in a statement that he would like to see President Biden, a catholic, condemn the recent "domestic terrorist threats" being faced by churches and the justices themselves.

"President Biden must immediately and forcibly condemn these domestic terrorist threats," he said. "Anti-Catholic zealots are plotting to intimidate and harass Catholics across the country, along with justices and their families. This country was built on freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The president of the United States must stand up for both.

"These threats follow a record number of attacks on Catholic churches, shrines, and symbols over the past two years."

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