Dobbs Decision and Religious Overreach

The year following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, says one writer, “Americans have been forced to reckon with the utter disaster that has been created in the 20 U.S. states that have banned or restricted abortion access.” 

MSNBC anchor Nicole Wallace, former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, former White House Health Policy Director Dr. Kavita Patel, and UC Irvine law professor Michele Goodwin discuss the impact of the Dobbs decision one year later.

Things are only getting worse, according to Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America:   

The stories we’re hearing from states with bans and restrictions are getting increasingly dystopian, straight out of, you know, horror movies and shows like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s crazy when stuff in fiction is happening in real life.  It’s so much worse than any of us could have ever imagined.

We ended yesterday’s DM asking: In whose world is this right to life? 

Today I ask: In whose world is this justice? 

Where did the impetus to take away this right come from?  It is not from serious jurisprudence bent on the common good, but from religious ideology propounded by a fascist organization named Opus Dei whose handyman, Leonardo Leo, deservedly has now become a household name in America.

“Captured court”: MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes discusses Leonard Leo’s two-fold plan to create a Supreme Court beholden to rightwing ideologues.

He is the one in the photo-turned painting with billionaire Harlan Crow in his backyard along with a certain Supreme Court justice.  And in photos released this past week of another Supreme Court justice being feted big time by another rightwing billionaire whose companies had over 12 cases before the Supreme Court under his watch. 

Leo is the one responsible for six of the most extreme right-wing members of this court.  This Supreme Court does not represent America, 62 % of Americans want Roe v. Wade preserved.  It represents the values of Opus Dei. 

Jamie Manson of Catholics for Choice points out:

A crucial, overlooked fact about the Dobbs decision is that all justices that overturned Roe v. Wade are, or were, raised Catholic….It cannot be overstated: Anti-choice catholic forces are responsible for all the suffering.

Who controls women’s right to reproductive choice? Rachel Maddow shares a key exchange from the Supreme Court arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson. MSNBC

This is a court not of justice but of injustice and not of “right to life” but “right to control the bodies of women.” 

The ongoing revelations of judges cavorting at high flying resorts with highly political billionaires is gut wrenching.  It shows in the judicial decisions they render.  Women are losing their lives thanks to judges on this court. 

Will misogyny ever end?  Must women—and especially poor women—be collateral damage to religious zealotry?


See Matthew Fox, “Moving Beyond the Abortion Fixation: Some Theological Context,” in Conscience: The Magazine of Religious & Reproductive Freedom,, vol xli—no.2, 2020, pp. 24-28. Full article:

Also see Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society

See also Matthew Fox, The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Protestors march past the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, to mark the one-year anniversary of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Photo by Harrison Mitchell on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

Susan Sontag defines fascism as “institutional violence.”  Is a certain religious  zealotry in bed with certain politicians contributing to institutional violence in our time?

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9 thoughts on “Dobbs Decision and Religious Overreach”

  1. Avatar

    When ‘the devil’ says ‘I am pro life’ and gets elected, does that not tell us that it is not always the majority that are ‘pro-choice’?

    This only indicates that we are ‘systemically’ not truly listening to the other side, regardless of the side we are on. ‘Pro Life’ and ‘Pro Choice’ is only one issue related to our non-listening, but is one that if we provide the populace with the answer of their choice, it finds their forgiveness and tolerance with a host of other wrongdoings we may be committing. It may not be the right thing to do, but it is the reality that we face.

    This same ‘non-listening’ has entered into both sides of issues surrounding the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Our non-listening and closed hearts create a host of unwanted issues and the collateral damage that comes with it. To say that ‘only the one that agrees with us’ is open and listening, is not listening at all. — BB.

  2. Avatar

    Sister Joan Chittister once wrote that those in government who claim to be pro-life are really only pro-birth. For the very ones who make this claim are the ones who eliminate social programs which would enable these women to provide life.

  3. Avatar

    Yes, and one must remind these efforts are the deliberate plan of the billionaire class, the libertarian ethos alive in America for years. The Catholic Church in America has aligned itself with it to an active political participation to achieve
    it’s end: power, money and influence.
    As a Catholic by faith tradition I am brought to despair at times. Much pain
    lies ahead, but Gods work happens in deep time and I cling to that.

  4. Avatar

    YES!, Matthew. Thank you for continuing to speak TRUTH & JUSTICE to power!
    As I elaborated in yesterday’s Comment, “institutional violence” is part of social injustice/inequities around the world, historically and contemporally, and mainly due to toxic, destructive, racist, misogynist, spiritually unbalanced patriarchal beliefs/values/actions, prevalent and insidious in our modern societies and institutions putting our humanity and our sacred Mother Earth in constant danger….

  5. Avatar

    Narrow-minded, short-sighted, fundamentalist Catholicism at the root of evil in America…and Christ would be (is) denouncing it all.

    I am recalling Howard Thurman and his Jesus of the disenfranchised…

  6. Avatar

    We can be outraged, but not surprised, at the revelations of continued corruption in the highest court of the land. Most of their decisions do not represent justice, except in the narrow sense of service to power, money, control, and hatred of women. In fairness, it has been pointed out that one liberal judge who has written many books has not recused herself from cases in which her publisher was involved. The dismal and heartbreaking consequences of the overturning of Roe v. Wade were in fact predicted; we are just living them out. One of the worst features is the total ignorance of medicine in considering operating to remove an ectopic pregnancy some kind of abortion; my cousin suffered two of those and would have died if they were not removed. The hypocrisy of the RC and other churches that are so self righteous about right to life is staggering–where were they when abortion providers were being murdered? Did any speak out against this practice, including a murder of a doctor in a church? For a protest in the legislature in FL, women threw panties at the legislators and are now being arrested for ???? apparently for scaring those delicate men and women to death!!

  7. Avatar

    Institutional violence… when you look at the meaning of the words themselves you can define this as… an UNIMAGINATIVE, destructive, powerfully untamed devastating force that is wildly turbulent and savage; causing extreme pain, great suffering, deep grief and harm… to the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well being of another.

    This is what humanity is experiencing, as the collective dark night of the soul… and the deep soul wounding we are encountering; from religious zealots whom have positioned themselves within the governing bodies of the political, judicial, and religious systems; at its highest levels.

    These others, being afflicted by these religious zealots and their violence are women, people of color, the poor and impoverished, the 2SLGBQ+, and Mother Earth Herself.

    Evil and its violent ways are afoot, however much happens underground as it always has, for those rooted in love, compassion, mercy and justice; which continously unfolds, evolves and emerges from the ashes and darkness; in imaginative, creative and transformative hidden ways!

  8. Avatar

    What’s most disturbing to me is that politicians in black robes are standing in the way of sound medical practice. I’m thinking of women who miscarry. The medical procedure necessary (aD&C or an abortion) to save their lives is being interpreted by hospital lawyers who advise doctors to ignore their oath to do no harm by forcing women to become sicker and sometimes septic before they act. That is perverted . I’d like to think there are doctors who will ignore this “law” and do what’s needed for their patient They can’t arrest them all!!
    Women also have a right to life do they not??
    Tupac Shakur said “ and since we all came from a woman, got our name from a woman, got our game from a woman,
    I wonder why we take from our women
    Why we rape our women
    Do we hate our women?
    I think it’s time to kill for our women
    Time to heal our women
    Be real to our women
    And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies that will hate the ladies
    That make the babies.
    And since a man can’t make one
    He has no right to tell a woman
    When and where to create one.

    Tupac: philosopher/poet/rapper

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