More than half of the dioceses in California have accepted Sacramento Bishop and CCC President Jaime Soto’s invitation to join him in a novena dedicated to defeating SB 24, the bill by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) that would mandate California state university health clinics dispense abortion-inducing medications.
“At this critical moment, I urge all Catholics and all Christians to join together in prayer,” said Bishop Soto in a letter to the faithful. “ From August 3 through August 11, pray with me a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of unborn children, asking her powerful intercession to defeat this bill. Our own political action is important but we must also draw wisdom and strength from prayer.”
Angela Gilliard, Director of Health Policy for the UC system, has expressed concern over funding increases for students to accommodate a source of funding for SB 24. Other vocal pro-choice advocates are opposing the bill, including the California Academy for Preventative Medicine.
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, in a column published this week, spoke of the increased need for Catholics to be engaged in the political process. He referenced SB 24 as exemplifying the need to be involved:
“Right now, in California, there is legislation, Senate Bill 24,” said the Archbishop, “that would require all state colleges and universities to offer students free access to the ‘abortion pill.’ But a compassionate society should have more to offer women in need than the ability to end the life of their children before they are born.”
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone will offer a special Mass marking the end of the novena on August 11 at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
The bill currently sits in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is scheduled to have a hearing this month. Please stay tuned for Action Alerts to help defeat this bill.