California Senate Bill 24 proposes that California state college and university health centers provide free abortion pills to students on campus. The California legislature reconvenes today from their summer recess, and SB 24 is on the agenda this week. The California Bishops are fighting against the legislation with prayer and action.
Prayer, says Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, is an important weapon in the battle. “We need to engage our spiritual resources on these issues. There are many things we need to do—we need to lobby, we need to educate, we need to advocate—we need to do all of that, but nothing will work if we don’t pray and engage our spirituality with novenas, prayers, devotions, fasting, and so forth.”
He noted that if these universities truly cared about women, they would give them support to choose life for their children.
“[They] don’t really give women the options they need; this is the hypocrisy of the side that claims to be pro-‘choice’,” said Archbishop Cordileone. “What are the colleges doing to help women exercise another choice? Are they providing daycare for their babies if they want to give birth and raise the child themselves? Are they providing distance education for the time they need to be out of class? Are professors willing to work with them? … What about a woman who wants to put the child up for adoption—are they there to support the woman in that and guide her through the process?”
Despite legislation such as this, there is reason for hope within the pro-life movement, says Archbishop Cordileone. He credits things such as the Unplanned movie and outrage over gruesome abortion laws across the country with helping to turn the tide.
“It’s on the heels of what has been a growing movement for a very long time, momentum for the pro-life cause. So we’re very concerned and it’s very upsetting what we see happening, but on the other hand I think there’s reason to hope. The tide, I believe, is turning and legislation such as this that’s happening in California now and in other states I think is a sign of the panic the other side is reacting with when they see this growing sentiment against abortion. Which is simply a matter of exposing the truth—the truth that the only reason we’ve been able to have such a pro-abortion culture is because somehow they’ve managed to mask the truth of what’s really going on. But the lies are being exposed and hearts are being changed,” said Archbishop Cordileone.
The California bishops have concluded a statewide novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe to stop SB 24 from passing, but the fight is not over! Continue to pray, and if you live in California, consider contacting your state representative and telling them to vote against SB 24. Find your CA state representative here.
Listen to the full Morning Air interview:
Read a reflection from the Most Rev. José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, on SB 24 and the dignity of life.