WASHINGTON (CNS) – The Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion “is a loving response to mothers and their children in the womb,” the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee said in a statement. press release published on the occasion of January 22. anniversary of the Roe v. Supreme Court Wade legalizing abortion in all 50 states.

“Church teaching proclaims a message of life, reminding us that every life is a sacred gift from God from the moment of conception until natural death,” said Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori. .

In November, the archbishop began a three-year term as chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Activities Committee.

The archbishop’s January 21 statement came as thousands of pro-life supporters gathered to ‘stand up for the rights of the unborn child’ at the 49th annual Walk for Life on the National Mall in Washington. .

“Equality Begins in the Womb” was the theme of this year’s event, which always includes a rally with dozens of speakers on the Mall, followed by a march to the United States Supreme Court.

The March for Life Defense and Education Fund, which sponsors the annual event, and numerous pro-life groups have said they hope this year’s rally will mark a watershed moment for abortion in the United States. most abortions after 15 weeks will lead to Roe being limited or canceled.

“In remembrance of the tragic anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and in petition for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life for all individuals,” the American Catholic Church “recognizes the National Day of Prayer for Legal Protection unborn children”. Children,” observed each January 22, Bishop Lori said.

He too pointed to the Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, and called on all Catholics and others of good will “to fast and pray on this day, and frequently between now and June, when we anticipate a decision” on Dobbs. .

“We pray that this important case overturns Roe and his unfair abortion license,” Archbishop Lori said.

“We cannot build a truly just society and remain complacent in the face of the massive impact of Roe v. Wade, which has claimed over 60 million lives since 1973,” he said. “May we pray, fast and work for the day when the gift of all human life will be protected by law and welcomed with love.”

Archbishop Lori was the main celebrant and preacher for the January 20 opening Mass of the annual National Prayer for Life Vigil at the National Shrine Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

Early on January 21, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley of Boston was also the main celebrant and homilist at the vigil’s closing mass, and many attendees left the basilica for the National Mall for the March for the life.