The United States Catholic bishops launched a prayer campaign Tuesday for an end to abortion, marking the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion on demand the law of the land.
The “9 Days for Life” begins on January 16 and ends on January 22 with the observance of the annual Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.
In the Catholic Church, a “novena” consists of prayers over nine successive days and this particular novena is meant as an opportunity for prayer for the protection of human life and reparation for the evil of abortion.
Whereas each January thousands of people gather in Washington, DC, to uphold the dignity of all human life and pray for an end to abortion, today the tone has changed, the bishops note.
Nearly fifty years after the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in Roe v. Wade, “the court overturned the 1973 decision by giving individual states the power to regulate abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization,” they observe.
The 2022 ruling “marked the beginning of a new phase in protecting human life,” the bishops’ statement reads.
As Catholics across the country gather again this year in Washington for the March for Life, “they are also invited to observe a nationwide prayer vigil January 18-19 to pray for an end to abortion and a greater respect for all human life,” it adds.
The National Prayer Vigil for Life, hosted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Pro-Life Secretariat, will be held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, on the eve of the March for Life.