Holy Smoke

The Catholic Church’s muddle over Roe vs Wade

12 min listen

In This Episode

So Roe vs. Wade is as good as dead. Americans are about to lose their constitutional right to an abortion.

Five out of the nine Supreme Court justices have drafted an opinion in their forthcoming ruling on a Mississippi abortion case which strikes down the 1973 Roe ruling as ‘egregiously wrong from the start’. As we all know it’s been leaked – but it’s expected to be issued pretty much unchanged in the next few weeks because, even if they wanted to, the justices can’t change their votes without appearing to succumb to political pressure.

The unprecedented leaking of that draft opinion has been greeted by jubilation from religious conservatives and the degree of outrage that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before by liberal opinion and the mainstream media, which amount to the same thing, really, in America. And in Britain too, at least on this topic: I haven’t seen certain BBC hacks so distressed since Trump got elected. 

In this episode of Holy Smoke, I concentrate on one specific aspect of this extraordinary situation. Given that the striking down of Roe vs. Wade wouldn’t actually make abortion illegal, but instead make it a matter for state law, you might think that Catholic bishops would have no reservations whatsoever about this decision. Isn’t this the famous subsidiarity in action?

Not so. For quite a few bishops, including liberal cardinals loyal to the Biden administration, this week’s news has come as a very nasty surprise. To find out why, listen to the podcast.


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in