Pro-choice Catholic church protests could lead to hate crimes

According to a Catholic lawyer and consultant, liberal activists who demonstrate in Catholic churches on Mother’s Day could face legal problems.

The progressive group Ruth Sent Us plans to demonstrate outside the homes of Tory Supreme Court justices after a draft notice leaked earlier this week suggesting the High Court was set to make the landmark case of 1973 Roe v. Wade which gave women a national right to abortion.

But the group has also called for disruptions outside – and inside – Catholic churches this Mother’s Day during mass services.

“Whether you’re a ‘Catholic for Choice’, an Ex-Catholic, Else or no faith, recognize that six hardline Catholics set out to overthrow Roe. Stand in or at a local Catholic Church on Sunday May 8,” the group posted on Twitter, calling for disruptors.

While several of the Republican-appointed judges are Catholic, all six do not practice the faith. Judge Neil M. Gorsuch attends an Episcopal church, according to media reports.

Pro-choice activists have already posted graffiti on a Catholic church in Colorado in the days after the draft notice was published.

Calling to disrupt Catholic church services could be considered a hate crime by targeting a protected group on the basis of their religion, according to a religious and legal expert.

“Attacking Supreme Court justices specifically because of their personal religious affiliation or targeting Catholic churches for massive infiltration and subversion this weekend is wrong and wrong. This will lead to more hate crimes against members of the American Catholic community, in which all races and national origins are represented. I pray and call on those who continue these tactics to stop immediately,” said John Matthew Knowles, Catholic lawyer and co-founder of Milvian Bridge Consulting.

He said the conduct being encouraged shows a deep-rooted “anti-Catholic bigotry” reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan’s anti-Catholic campaigns.

“Over the past two years, law enforcement has reported a sharp increase in vandalism of Catholic property and assaults on Catholic priests and lay people. Now is not the time to ask for more,” Mr. Knowles added.

Similarly, some legal scholars have suggested that protesting at judges’ homes could also pose legal problems for activists.

Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, also an attorney, said on Twitter that they could be arrested for violating state law against picketing outside a residence and also for attempting to obstruct Justice.

“Why doesn’t press officer Jen Psaki condemn the protests outside a judge’s private residence? After all, it’s a crime!” she tweeted.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to condemn the leak.

“Our view here is that peaceful protests – there’s a long history in the United States in the country of that. And we certainly encouraged people to stay peaceful and not resort to any level of violence,” she said earlier this week.

A spokesperson for Ruth Sent Us did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Court watchers were appalled on Monday night when news broke that a draft opinion said the High Court would overturn the 1973 Roe decision, which granted women the nation’s right to abortion until viability fetal.

It’s the first time a full draft opinion has been leaked in the Supreme Court’s 233-year history, according to former jurists.

In the 98-page draft opinion obtained by Politico, Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. said abortion should be up to state legislatures.

“The Constitution makes no reference to abortion,” he wrote. “Roe was completely wrong from the start.”

“It is time to respect the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people,” reads the notice, dated February.

A formal decision in this case is expected by the end of June.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the draft opinion – dated February – was authentic, but noted that it did not represent a final decision. He called for an investigation to find out who leaked the document to the press.

Court rates Mississippi abortion ban at 15 weeks in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Mississippi officials argue that Roe should be canceled because it is obsolete. The state argues that the viability standard established in Roe is unclear and that Mississippi has an interest in banning abortions after 15 weeks to protect the health of women and the health of unborn children.

The legal battle was fought by the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s only abortion clinic, and a doctor who performs abortions. According to court documents, the clinic offers abortions up to 16 weeks gestation.

They challenged the state’s gestational age law, signed into law in 2018. The law prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, except in cases of medical emergency or serious abnormality in the fetus.

Abortion providers told the court in their filing that the state’s interest in a woman’s health and children does not begin until viability, which comes “months” after the 15-week marker set by the law.

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