Pro-abortion activists are targeting Catholic churches for protests on Mother's Day, with some citing the Roman Catholic faith of multiple justices who reportedly at one point supported the leaked draft opinion striking down Roe v. Wade.
The protests follow days of organizing in front of the Supreme Court building following the leak Monday night – protests that led the Washington, D.C., police to erect a fence ostensibly to protect the building and justices within. Fox News has also learned that there has been a strong police presence at the justices' homes following the leak.
"Whether you’re a ‘Catholic for Choice’, ex-Catholic, of other or no faith, recognize that six extremist Catholics set out to overturn Roe," the pro-abortion organizing group Ruth Sent Us posted on Twitter, with a video of activists appearing to disrupt a church service. "Stand at or in a local Catholic Church Sun May 8."
The organization Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights has organized a "week of action" beginning on May 8, Mother's Day, with "Actions Outside of Churches."
"This action is called for by a collective of spanish [sic] speaking women’s rights groups + activists across the country, including from Bride’s March, Dominican Women’s Development Center, Ni Una Menus, and Las 17," according to the event schedule. "Several cities will be hosting protests outside of prominent churches in their towns, these can look like a group of people holding signs wearing Handmaids Tale outfits, passing out flyers outside to church goers or doing a die-in."
Abortion activists don "Handmaid's Tale" outfits in protest, comparing laws restricting abortion to the regime of ritualized rape and forced motherhood in Margaret Atwood's novel.
Pro-abortion vandals targeted a church in Boulder, Colorado, Wednesday, spray-painting "bans off our bodies" and "my body my choice" on the building.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed Tuesday that Justice Samuel Alito's draft opinion in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization was genuine – although the draft dates back to February, and it does not represent the current or final opinion of the court. In the draft, Alito strikes down Roe v. Wade, which struck down state laws across the country, and allows states to again make their own laws on abortion.
It remains unclear whether the Court will overturn Roe in the Dobbs decision, and which justices will vote in favor of the move. The Politico story reporting the link claimed that five justices had voted to do so, and that Roberts favored upholding the Mississippi abortion law at issue but did not want to overturn Roe.
Brian Burch, president of the Catholic advocacy organization Catholic Vote, condemned the planned protests and urged President Biden – who has faced criticism for claiming a Catholic identity while supporting abortion – to condemn what Burch called "domestic terrorist threats."
"In the wake of the shameless leak of a draft opinion of the Supreme Court, pro-abortion groups are now threatening to disrupt Catholic churches and to protest outside the homes of Supreme Court justices this Sunday," Burch noted in a statement Thursday.
"President Biden must immediately and forcibly condemn these domestic terrorist threats," Burch declared. "Anti-Catholic zealots are plotting to intimidate and harass Catholics across the country, along with justices and their families. This country was built on freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The President of the United States must stand up for both."
"These threats follow a record number of attacks on Catholic churches, shrines, and symbols over the past two years," the Catholic Vote president added, citing the Boulder vandalism.
Catholic Vote has urged the Department of Justice to investigate the trend of anti-Catholic vandalism, citing at least 120 instances since May 2020.
The White House on Thursday declined to encourage abortion activists to avoid protesting at justices' private residences. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden "shares" the "concern" and "horror" of those who "feel outraged" or "scared" over the leaked draft opinion.
When Fox News' Peter Doocy asked Psaki if abortion protests outside justices' houses might be considered extreme, she said, "Peaceful protest, no. Peaceful protest is not extreme. We certainly encourage people to keep it peaceful and not resort to any level of violence."
Contrary to Ruth Sent Us, the justices who voted to overturn Roe were not "six extremist Catholics." While Justices Alito, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett are Catholic, Neil Gorsuch, the ostensible fifth vote, is Episcopalian. Roberts and Justice Sonia Sotomayor are also Catholic, though they reportedly did not vote to overturn Roe. Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan are Jewish, while incoming Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is a nondenominational Protestant.
Fox News' Thomas Phippen contributed to this report.