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Arlington Bishop Michael BurbidgeYouTube screenshot

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called on Catholics and pro-lifers to celebrate Dobbs Day – the upcoming anniversary of the historic overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022 – as the beginning of new efforts to protect the lives of the unborn.

“By the grace of God, the nearly 50-year reign of national abortion on demand has been put to an end. Roe v. Wade – a seemingly insurmountable blight on our nation – is no more! This is a day for continued joy and for gratitude; a day to recall the countless faithful laborers who have dedicated themselves to prayer, action, witness, and service in support of the cause of life; and a day to thank God for His unending faithfulness.”

Calling for renewed efforts to change not just laws but hearts as well in favor of life, Burbidge said, “Even as we celebrate, we are reminded that this is not the end, but the beginning of a critical new phase in our efforts to protect human life. Despite this momentous legal victory, sobering and varied challenges lie ahead of us. Over the past year, while some states have acted to protect preborn children, others have tragically moved to enshrine abortion in law – enacting extreme abortion policies that leave children vulnerable to abortion, even until the moment of birth.”

“In this shifting political landscape, we persist confidently in our efforts to defend life. The work that lies ahead continues to be not just changing laws but also helping to change hearts, with steadfast faith in the power of God to do so.”

The bishop praised pro-life initiatives that assist mothers in crisis like Walking with Moms in Need and post-abortive healing ministries like Project Rachel. He also invited Catholics support these efforts with prayer and to stay up to date on legislative proposals by subscribing to “Respect Life Prayer and Action” to receive alerts to contact Congress and government leaders on important abortion-related legislation, and suggestions on ways to strengthen the culture of life more locally.

The bishop’s letter comes as pro-life groups prepare to celebrate Dobbs Day in Washington, D.C. In a statement on the upcoming Dobbs Day anniversary, Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins said that among other major pro-life goals is the full constitutional protection of the unborn under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Hawkins stated, “This day marks both the celebration of a battle won and a moment to rally the troops for our new opportunities. We are no longer hampered by the 1973 Roe decision in light of the 2022 Dobbs ruling, and we’re excited to finally have more places to fight for the right to Life. It’s time to collectively reach for a new dream: the Fourteenth Amendment for All. With Roe gone, we can reaffirm the obvious: our nation was built on the hope of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all of us, including those not yet born.”

In an announcement for events in Washington, D.C., celebrating Dobbs Day, Students for Life of America stated that together with 40 Days for Life, Live Action, and Pro-Life Partners Foundation, they will be hosting a “National Celebrate Life Day” Rally as well as a Gala on Saturday, June 24, the first anniversary of the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling “to celebrate the reversal of Roe v. Wade and to inspire the pro-life community to make abortion both unavailable and unthinkable nationwide.”

The announcement read, “The purpose is to honor the dedication, sacrifices, and innovations made by many unsung heroes over the first 49 years of the pro-life movement, as well as to lay out a vision of where to go next: achieving national protection for preborn Americans under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.”

SFLA’s full vision for making America pro-life can be seen at its Blueprint for a Post-Roe America.