Archdiocese joins nationwide prayer for the protection of women and pre-born children, and to end abortion

March 22, 2024

WASHINGTON - On March 26, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments in a case that has the potential to make a major impact in the widespread accessibility of chemical abortion (abortion pills). Chemical abortions are now the most common form of abortion in the United States.

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities have announced a nationwide invitation to prayer beginning on March 25 (the eve of the oral arguments), through June 2024, when the court's decision is expected. 

The case is in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) promoting the availability of chemical abortion while ignoring risks to women and violating federal law. In short, the FDA has enabled a nationwide mail-order abortion industry and turned neighborhood pharmacies into chemical abortion providers.

While the Supreme Court case is not about ending chemical abortion, it can restore limitations that the FDA has overridden. When a Supreme Court decision is released, probably in June, we can expect a public and political reaction similar to the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

The USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities is inviting Catholics to join a focused effort of prayer for the end of abortion and the protection of women and preborn children, beginning on March 25, the eve of the oral arguments, and the anniversary of St. John Paul II’s landmark, pro-life encyclical, The Gospel of Life (Evangelium vitae). In particular, we will invoke the intercession of St. Joseph, Defender of Life with this prayer (en español):

Prayer to St. Joseph, Defender of Life

​Dearest St. Joseph, at the word of an angel, you lovingly took Mary into your home. As God’s humble servant, you guided the Holy Family on the road to Bethlehem, welcomed Jesus as your own son in the shelter of a manger, and fled far from your homeland for the safety of both Mother and Child. We praise God that as their faithful protector, you never hesitated to sacrifice for those entrusted to you. May your example inspire us also to welcome, cherish, and safeguard God’s most precious gift of life. Help us to faithfully commit ourselves to the service and defense of human life —especially where it is vulnerable or threatened. Obtain for us the grace to do the will of God in all things. Amen.

Oración a san José, defensor de la vida

Amadísimo san José: Ante el pedido de un ángel, amorosamente llevaste a María a tu hogar. Como humilde siervo de Dios, guiaste a la Sagrada Familia por el camino hacia Belén, acogiste a Jesús como tu hijo en el refugio de un pesebre, y huiste lejos de tu patria para la seguridad de la Madre y el Hijo. Alabamos a Dios porque tú, siendo su fiel protector, nunca dudaste sacrificarte por quienes fueron encomendados a ti. Que tu ejemplo nos inspire también para acoger, atesorar y proteger el más preciado don de la vida que nos regala Dios. Ayúdanos a comprometernos con fidelidad para servir y defender la vida humana —en especial donde es vulnerable o esté amenazada. Obtennos la gracia de hacer la voluntad de Dios en todas las cosas. Amén.

We ask Catholics to offer this prayer daily, from March 25 through June, when a decision is expected.  Thank you for responding to this invitation to prayer for an end to all abortions and for the protection of women and preborn children.

St. Joseph, Defender of Life, pray for us!