The U.S. Supreme Court granted a victory to Texas Catholic bishops on Tuesday after an abortion chain attacked them for offering to bury babies killed in abortions.
The lawsuit by Whole Woman’s Health, a Texas abortion chain notorious for health and safety violations, involves a Texas law that requires abortion facilities to bury or cremate aborted babies’ bodies. The law helps ensure that abortion businesses are not selling aborted babies’ bodies for profit.
As part of the lawsuit, the abortion chain sued to obtain private records from the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops after they offered to provide a dignified burial for the babies.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the abortion chain last year, and on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the abortion chain’s appeal.
“Thank goodness the Supreme Court saw this appeal for what it was: a nasty attempt to intimidate the bishops and force them to withdraw their offer to bury every child aborted in Texas,” said Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel at Becket, which represented the bishops. “Abortion groups may think the bishops ‘troublesome,’ but it is wrong to weaponize the law to stop the bishops from standing up for their beliefs.”
The bishops are not part of Whole Women’s Health’s lawsuit against the Texas law, but, because they offered to provide a dignified burial for aborted babies, the abortion chain tried to subpoena decades of internal private documents related to abortion through the courts.
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A trial judge ordered the bishops to hand over the documents, even though they had provided more than 4,000 pages of external communications, according to Beckett. The bishops appealed, and the Supreme Court’s decision permanently stops the attack.
Archbishop Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, of Galveston-Houston, previously said their ministries to help the marginalized, poor and vulnerable are being threatened by the abortion business.
“We cannot act on our faith and religious convictions as effectively if we have to give up our ability to deliberate in private as the price of admission to the public square,” DiNardo said.
The Texas law has been blocked temporarily while the lawsuit moves through the courts. Abortion activists have argued the law creates an “undue burden” on women’s access to abortion by increasing the cost of an abortion through the burial/cremation requirement.
More states are moving to require dignified burials of aborted babies’ bodies after undercover videos revealed evidence that Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities may be selling aborted babies’ body parts. The Center for Medical Progress videos prompted a number of states and the U.S. House and Senate to open investigations into the matter.