Statement on “Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization”

Today, with the U.S. Supreme Court reversing the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision on the right to abortion, we enter a new era of opportunity and responsibility to safeguard life and protect the most innocent among us. We welcome this historic reversal, which affirms the right to life of an unborn child and we pledge to do all that is possible to support pregnant women who face serious challenges.

The Dobbs decision presents all of us with new and persistent challenges and opportunities. Future debates over abortion must be peaceful and respectful. There are people deeply divided by their beliefs on both sides of this issue. Acts of violence and other hateful actions will only make it more difficult for constructive discourse.  It is time for reconciliation as we support a culture of life together.

As the option of abortion may become more limited over time, we will provide assistance for women so they may make life-affirming decisions. Christ calls us to love our neighbor, practice charity and not pass judgment on others – to “accompany them” as Pope Francis says, and not turn them away.

In that spirit, our parishes and our social programs must be prepared to meet the increasing needs for pro-life pregnancy resource centers and supports for women raising children.

The renewed discussion of the abortion issue may cause more post-abortive women to seek counseling in order to come to terms with their decisions. We must always be compassionate followers of Christ – ready to reach out to women who are seeking healing, forgiveness and reconciliation through the Church.

Throughout this struggle to protect life, we have heard many voices cry out for the innocent lives of the unborn, and we are grateful for their witness and renewed commitment. This is a most hopeful and encouraging moment, but there is a need for renewed vigilance ahead as we work and pray to become a nation that values all human life, beginning with the unborn and extending to children in our schools and to all people who are vulnerable and at risk of violence.

The path to healing our society of the wounds inflicted against human life, whether abortion or suicide or gun violence, will not be an easy path, but we are committed to helping create a nation that values all human life from conception until natural death. All of us need to meet the challenge with civility and with the love that God requires of us in all things.

Statement from Connecticut Catholic Bishops