Here are excerpts from a sampling of statements on court overturning Roe
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Here are excerpts from a sampling of statements issued by U.S. bishops, pro-life organizations and other groups in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in its June 24 Dobbs ruling. The court also overturned its ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 ruling that reaffirmed Roe.
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley of Boston:
-- "The Church has defended human life from its inception as a matter of human rights. Our continued efforts in advocating our position on the protection of unborn children is consistent with our advocacy for issues affecting the dignity of all persons at all stages and in all circumstances of life. The Church employs this principle of consistency in addressing issues of race, poverty and human rights generally. It is a position that presents a moral argument as a foundation for law and policy to protect human life. ... The radical character of the Roe decision catalyzed some of the deepest reactions and responses to any issue in our nation's history. The public arguments will now shift to the states, the Congress and the courts. It is my hope that this new chapter may be a time of a different tone and focus in our civic life. ... We must adopt a wider vision of the multiple threats to human life in our society today. The recognition that human life begins with conception and continues through natural death. All human life deserves moral and legal protection at all times. Protection of life should be comprehensive, not selective."
Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory of Washington:
-- "Nearly 50 years ago when Roe v. Wade was handed down, our nation became a house divided against itself by putting freedom of choice before even the inalienable right of life itself. ... Human life is precious and sacred. With the Supreme Court's decision ... now we can begin to heal those divisions that have so diminished us as a people and as a society. ... We rejoice in this latest step in our journey, but our work is not done. Locally and nationally, we still have more to do to advance the dignity of human life and to make sure that the full range of life issues are adequately addressed."
Alaska's Catholic bishops:
-- "We recognize that abortion remains legal here in our state and to that end, we will continue to work to uphold the life and dignity of the human person created in Gods image, from conception until natural death. ... The Church will never cease to do what it has always done, to pray, work and serve until the day when every human life is protected in law and welcomed in love. Until that day comes, in every way possible, we will continue to care for women and children in need, so that every family has the support to joyfully choose life."
Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes of Agaña, Guam:
-- "The Catholic Church on Guam hails the United States Supreme Court's historic decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. We can say that this is a triumph of good against evil. ... We are grateful for the courage of the members of the Supreme Court who made the decision of life over death. (But) the fight to end abortion is far from completed. We call on all Catholics and people of goodwill to persevere in the work to promote life and protect the innocent and defenseless. Though there are multitudes who rejoice today, there is much anger and fear in the hearts of many of our brothers and sisters across the nation. Please promote peace and compassion to one and all. As well, to our women who are encountering difficulties and hard decisions to make, please know that your Church is here to assist you. For women who made the regrettable decision to have an abortion years ago or more recently -- including complicit men or family members – our merciful Lord loves you. He extends to you his open arms and invitation to healing, forgiveness and the sacrament of reconciliation."
Florida's Catholic bishops:
-- "The legacy of Roe and Casey has been the imposition of an abortion regime that made our nation one of the most liberal of Western democratic countries on abortion. As a result, over 62 million children nationwide and 3,368,4751 children in Florida were denied the opportunity to live outside the womb since 1973. ... The Dobbs case marks a new era for the work of the Church and all those who strive to protect children in the womb. We remain committed to ministries of service that accompany expectant mothers facing difficult or unintended pregnancies. We strive to continue to build a society that empowers women so that mothers are truly supported throughout pregnancy and beyond. A truly pro-life culture values women for their unique contributions and special gifts in all spheres of life, while supporting them in their roles as mothers."
Bishop Ronald W. Gainer of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania:
-- "As a pro-life Church, not only do we support parents facing an unplanned or difficult pregnancy, we also continue our efforts to support the needs of the elderly, the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, the refugee and immigrant, and those who have been marginalized. It is my prayer that as we face the uncertainties ahead, we can do so peacefully, working together to respect the concerns of our brothers and sisters, while also striving to build a society where all life is protected."
Bishop William D. Byrne of Springfield, Massachusetts:
-- "I affirm today's Supreme Court decision, upholding each state's right to defend life. Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts we still have much work to do so that all citizens recognize the sanctity of all human life. We continue to work, advocate and pray that our brothers and sisters will recognize the right to life of the most vulnerable among us. This includes not just the unborn who are so precious to us, but all people who are vulnerable. We will continue to work to affirm this right, the right given by God alone that all life is sacred and intended. We will continue to support women and families facing a crisis pregnancy through the many ministries and services in the Diocese of Springfield. I also pray that those who are upset by this decision will raise their voices in a peaceful manner."
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island:
-- "I take this opportunity to recognize the many members of our Church and the community who have been courageously and steadfastly committed to the cause of human life. Your commitment has not been in vain. ... I plead with political leaders in Rhode Island to do the right thing -- to revisit our abortion laws in a way that safeguards the sanctity of human life and eliminates the enormous harm caused by abortion -- to unborn infants, to vulnerable women, to the minority community, and to the dignity and quality of life in our state. I wish to emphasize that those who support and promote abortion are not our enemies. They too are children of God and our brothers and sisters. We wish only what is good and holy and helpful for them, and we pray that they will sincerely examine their conscience, and will recognize the great dignity and value of all human life, including that of unborn children. … The commitment on behalf of human life does not require only a change of laws, but also a change of hearts. This is, ultimately, a spiritual battle."
Colorado's Catholic bishops:
-- Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila: "So many of us have spent countless hours praying for this moment, holding vigil outside of abortion centers, silently accepting ridicule and speaking up for the voiceless unborn children. Today, we can rejoice that an unjust and cruel permission for abortion has been withdrawn." Pueblo Bishop Stephen J. Berg: "We have worked and prayed hard for this dawning of hope for our pre-born children and our society. We know that God is hearing our prayers for our most vulnerable and invisible sisters and brothers. We must continue our work that the precious gift of life for all God’s children be ever more protected and nurtured in all its stages. In gratitude for the gift of our children, and that communities turn to ever more support our youth and our families, we pray to the Lord." Colorado Springs Bishop James R. Golka: "During this important time we pray for God’s blessings and guidance so that the Church may continue in her mission of protecting the most vulnerable of human persons."
Illinois Catholic Conference:
-- "The Catholic Church through its various ministries interacts daily with women in unexpected pregnancies; every woman's situation is different, yet one thing is always the same -- an abortion is not the answer. The Catholic Church has always provided a safe haven for expectant women and remains poised to provide aid to all women-in-need through real assistance and educational resources. Any woman -- regardless of age, religious belief or affiliation, marital status or immigration status -- who is pregnant and in need can come to these ministries and they will provide the services and supports needed to help carry a baby to term and beyond. In addition, any woman struggling with post-abortive issues is also welcomed for care and healing. Locally, we fully understand that this Supreme Court decision will not reduce the availability of abortion in Illinois. With that reality as a backdrop, state government has nothing to lose and everything to gain by working toward reducing the number of abortion and increasing assistance to help pregnant mothers in need. ... Together, we can change Illinois' culture, support mothers in need and welcome all new lives."
Network, a Catholic social justice lobby:
-- "We see that undoing nearly half a century of precedent and jurisprudence will undoubtedly have a disorienting and destabilizing impact on our laws, the provision of maternal health care, and our already fraught civil discourse. ... With polarization and extremist violence growing in our country, people of faith have a moral duty to work toward the common good across a spectrum of issues. Catholic teaching states that a focus on one moral priority cannot lead to 'dismissing or ignoring other serious threats to human life and dignity.' ('Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship' #29) For anyone who has made ending federal protections for abortion the singular focus of their political activity, we at Network urge you to expand your focus to include the economic realities of women and families. Now is the time to listen to the experience of women, particularly women living in rural, low-income communities and women of color."
Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly:
-- "We are keenly aware that the reversal of Roe won't be the end of abortion in America. But we pray that it will be the beginning of the end. Now, the fight will evolve at the state level and we urge lawmakers -- both state and federal -- to recognize the value of 'unborn human beings' and pass laws that protect both the mother and her unborn child. It is a crucial time for us to come together and continue to express our love and support for unborn children, and for women who are in difficult pregnancies. We must continue to grow the pro-life safety net the Knights of Columbus has long supported. In a post-Roe world, the Knights will continue to be there for mothers and their children, and we will continue to proclaim the dignity of every human life."--
March for Life President Jeanne Mancini:
-- "Today, the ability to determine whether and when to limit abortion was returned to the American people who have every right to enact laws like Mississippi's which protect mothers and unborn babies after 15 weeks -- when they have fully formed noses, can suck their thumb and feel pain. We are so grateful to the countless pro-life people of goodwill who contributed and sacrificed to make today possible -- including the millions of those who have marched for life over the years -- and we recognize that this is just the beginning of our work to advance policies that protect life. We will continue to march until abortion is unthinkable because equality begins in the womb."