Acknowledging the range of responses to the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision overturning Roe v. Wade — from outrage to joy — Kentucky’s bishops proposed channeling that emotion into action to support women, children and families in the commonwealth.
In their statement, released soon after the 6-3 decision was announced, Kentucky’s bishops reaffirmed the Catholic tradition that proclaims every life as sacred and inviolable. The statement also provides context for the church’s teaching on the dignity and sanctity of human life, as well as its tradition of advocacy and support for life at all stages, including life in the womb.
“We affirm that every child is a sacred gift. We know that families may need help in welcoming this gift, through programs and policies that will address the challenges and mitigate the pressure that women may feel in making the decision to seek an abortion,” said the statement.
It goes on to enumerate the various pro-family policies supported by the bishops in recent years, as well as programs that support women and families.
The bishops also specifically call on Catholics to walk with moms and their children in need “and to reflect God’s mercy and love to all caught up in these fraught issues surrounding abortion, including those who choose abortion.”
The court’s 213-page ruling June 24 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization emphasizes that there is no constitutional right to abortion in the United States. Abortion policy decisions now go to the state level. At least half of states plan to ban or restrict abortions with this decision in place, according to Catholic News Service.
Kentuckians will consider the question in November when they vote on Amendment 2, which says that it clarifies there is no right to abortion in Kentucky’s constitution.
The state’s bishops said they “call upon all citizens to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider and vote ‘YES for Life’ this November by supporting Amendment #2. This proposed constitutional amendment is very simple and will prevent our state courts from ever issuing a decision like Roe v. Wade.”
The statement concludes: “As we move beyond Roe v. Wade, let us work together to create the conditions that will support mothers in choosing life.”
It was signed by Kentucky’s four bishops, Archbishop of Louisville Shelton J. Fabre, Bishop of Covington John C. Iffert, Bishop of Lexington John Stowe, OFM Conv., and Bishop of Owensboro William F. Medley.