A band of praying evangelical Christians say they will quietly walk around the Supreme Court on Wednesday, hoping to accomplish something that hasn’t happened in 48 years: a ruling overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision giving women the right to legal abortions.
The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Group, involved an abortion provider who is challenging Mississippi’s 2018 law effectively banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Oral arguments in the case will be heard that day.
“We find that men and women of faith reach out to God, and cry out to God, and God hears their cries,” said the Rev. Dave Kubal, president and CEO of the 300,000-member Intercessors for America (IFA), which is organizing several days of events surrounding the high court hearing. “And he changes events, he changes people’s hearts, and he changes the course of history.”
The night before the oral arguments, Mr. Kubal said, IFA will host a reception honoring former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who signed the measure into law; Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mississippi Republican; and state Attorney General Lynn Fitch, who will argue the case before the high court.
The Supreme Court has repeatedly declined to strike down Roe in the decades since it was first issued. But the Mississippi case will be one of the first tests of the issue before the justices since President Trump helped cement a conservative majority on the court with three nominations during his four-year term.
Mr. Kubal’s group is squarely in the anti-abortion camp. Along with the prayer events, IFA filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing from a position of Christian faith that the Mississippi statute should be upheld and the standards set in Roe v. Wade struck down.
“What our [brief] did, for the first time in the history of our judicial system, was to provide a biblical argument for life to the Supreme Court that represented the men and women of prayer from around the nation,” Mr. Kubal explained. Added to the brief was an internet link to the prayers of many of those who supported the IFA brief, he added.
Mr. Kubal said “the crux of the argument” is the Roe standard of viability of a fetus and when the state has a compelling right to restrict or forbid abortions. He claimed the Roe justices “elevated science and man to determine when the beginning of life is, and we reject that principle.”
“We say that it is God who determines when life begins,” he added, asserting the group’s filing merely outlines “the difference between a pagan worldview and a biblical worldview.”
Asked why it’s taken nearly 49 years since Roe for the Supreme Court to come close to overturning the controversial ruling, Mr. Kubal replied, “I wish I had an answer to that.” He suggested that perhaps the long period has helped those opposed to the ruling gain influence in society.
“We’ve watched our culture progressively become more and more anti-God and more and more valuing life less,” he said. “In the unborn, our culture’s seemingly getting more coarse and more violent and it seems as if that’s really had an effect in our culture. I think God is just waiting to turn and it feels like now is the time.”
Along with the “Reception for Life” event taking place on the eve of oral arguments, Mr. Kubal said the group has seven hours of continuous events scheduled for Dec. 1, beginning with an 8 a.m. prayer meeting to be streamed on the internet and “prayer walks” outside the Supreme Court building and in downtown D.C.
“We’ll have 100 or so here in D.C. prayer-walking,” Mr. Kubal said. The livestream “watch parties” around the nation mean “there will be thousands that will be involved,” he added.
That audience, he said, will “be listening to the Supreme Court oral argument feed through our webcast as they’re praying. The prayer walk will be multi-generational. We’ll have many students there who will be involved in addition to folks all the way up into their 60s and 70s.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect quote by the Rev. Dave Kubal. His quote has been fixed to say “science and man.”