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Activist groups are planning protests defending abortion rights outside Catholic churches on Mother’s Day.
The plans target the religion of some Supreme Court justices after a draft high court draft opinion striking down its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which grants federal protections for abortion, was leaked by an unknown source on Monday.
Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday confirmed that Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was genuine – although the draft dates back to February, and it does not represent the current or final opinion of the court.
A group known as “Ruth Sent Us,” which has a TikTok account with more than 20,000 followers, initially posted a video of a group of women wearing costumes inspired by Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaids Tale” walking into what appears to be the front of a Catholic Church during Mass.
“For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has been an institution for the enslavement of women,” one of the protesters can be heard saying in the video, which calls for protests between May 8 and May 14.
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Other activist groups including “Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights,” “Pro Choice with Heart,” “Strike for Choice” and others are calling for protests between May 8 and May 15.
Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights specifically calls for “actions outside of Churches” on Mother’s Day.
“This action is called for by a collective of [S]panish 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. 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 churchgoers or doing a die-in, “the group’s website states.
Similar calls for protests outside churches are being made on Reddit.
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“If the Supreme Court is going to take an unambiguously theocratic step, then we should take a page out of the Christians’ book. This began in the church, so that’s where we should march. No freedom? No peace. Let them worship over our chants, “one post reads.
Another post calls for “good old fashioned sit-ins”: “Make our signs and go FILL the churches. Or wherever you prefer. Refuse to move. Don’t say a word.”
Additionally, reports of churches being vandalized surfaced last week after the release of Alito’s draft opinion.
The Catholic Association Senior Fellow Grazie Pozo, Ph.D., told Fox News Digital in a statement that “the anti-child, anti-mother abortion brigades have chosen Mother’s Day – of all days – to invade our sacred churches”
“But then, we already know not even life is sacred to them. They are wasting their time. People of faith will not be intimidated by their harassment and threats. And mothers know how to deal with childish temper tantrums,” Pozo said.
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Brian Burch, president of the Catholic advocacy group CatholicVote, released a statement on Thursday calling on the Biden administration and Attorney General Merrick Garland to protect churches ahead of planned protests, noting that targeted places of worship are against the law.
“Yet these threats to the safety of Catholic pastors and parishioners have been met with a stunning silence from our Catholic President. Silence is not an option. President Biden must make clear that the targeting of Catholic churches is indefensible and against the law,” the statement reads. “… No religious believer in America should fear for their safety while attending church this Sunday, or any day.”
Neither the president nor Garland have responded to the calls for protests outside churches.
The 7-2 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which made it illegal to regulate abortions for women in their first trimester of pregnancy, came on Jan. 22, 1973, after months of deliberation and two sets of oral arguments at the court. The Supreme Court ruled that state laws prohibiting abortions – except to save the life of the mother – were unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment, which says no state “shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens” of the United States.
The Supreme Court may deliver a dramatic change to abortion jurisprudence in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Mississippi abortion case. This could potentially allow states to radically change access to the procedure.
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Twenty-six states are certain or likely to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, according to the pro-abortion rights think tank the Guttmacher Institute. Of those, 22 states already have total or near-total bans on the books that are currently blocked by Roe, aside from Texas. The state’s law banning it after six weeks has already been allowed to go into effect by the Supreme Court due to its unusual civil enforcement structure. Four more states are considered likely to quickly pass bans if Roe is overturned.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia, meanwhile, have protected access to abortion in state law.
Fox News’ Tyler O’Neil, Sam Dorman and The Associated Press contributed to this article.