Michigan's bishops react to Supreme Court's Dobbs decision: 'A cause for joy'

Young people participate in the annual Walk for Life in San Diego in 2018. (CNS photo/David Maung)

The 11 Catholic bishops of Michigan, through the Michigan Catholic Conference, have released the following statement:

Following today’s momentous and historic ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturns the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision — which to this day has resulted in the tragic loss of some 63 million unborn children nationally and more than 1.5 million children in Michigan — the eleven Catholic bishops in the state of Michigan have released a joint statement that expresses joy with the Court’s majority opinion while reaffirming the Catholic Church’s compassion and support for mothers in need.

In their statement, the bishops proclaim that life is a God-given right while reaffirming the Catholic Church’s commitment to support mothers during and after their pregnancies. They further clarify that the work to build up a culture of life must continue, particularly considering efforts to impose unregulated abortion in Michigan and across the country have already begun.

Catholic Bishops in Michigan Statement Following Dobbs Decision

Nearly fifty years after the unjust decision in Roe v. Wade, our country draws closer to a society that recognizes the God-given right of life for all persons, at any stage or in any condition. While today’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturns Roe is a cause for joy, we must remember that life is and always will be a gift from our Creator; it cannot be given or taken by governmental structures, judges, or elected officials.

We are saddened by the fear and anger that has reverberated across our land since a draft of this opinion was leaked to the public. In light of these concerns, we wish to make clear that no woman should face pregnancy alone. With safe-delivery laws, adoption, pregnancy resource centers, and assistance from Catholic and other agencies that provide necessities for mom and baby, every pregnant woman should know there is a community of compassion and support waiting to help her and her unborn or infant child. We empathize with women who struggle with daily challenges that may affect their decision to carry their baby to term: financial insecurity, food insecurity, medical care, lack of relationship and/or family support, coercion, and homelessness, just to name a few.

The pro-life movement must redouble its efforts to ensure every woman has the support she needs throughout her pregnancy and beyond, whether she chooses to parent or create an adoption plan. We affirm that the Church must prioritize this work, through our Catholic Charities and parish-based support networks, to meet the physical needs of mothers and children as well as offer the emotional support and love new mothers need. We also implore men to be respectful of women and responsible when they father a child. We are all called to walk with moms in need, and we encourage all Michiganders to join us in this effort.

Today’s momentous decision would not have occurred without fifty years of prayer, action and witness from innumerable women and men who promote the sanctity of human life. These people of goodwill laid the foundation for a future of love, compassion, and support toward women and their unborn or newborn children. Though Roe is no longer relevant to abortion policy, we must remain vigilant against future attempts to promote abortion as help for women, which in reality are attacks on human life itself. Some of those attacks have already started here in Michigan through the legislative process, at the ballot box and in the court room, signaling that the work to build up a social order that respects human life is not finished.

Let us, as the Body of Christ here on Earth, pray for all pregnant women and continue to proclaim that human life is sacred from conception to natural death and at every point in between, and to commit ourselves to building a society grounded in that essential God-given right.

Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit

Most Rev. Earl A. Boyea
Bishop of Lansing

Most Rev. Paul J. Bradley
Bishop of Kalamazoo

Most Rev. John F. Doerfler
Bishop of Marquette

Most Rev. Robert D. Gruss
Bishop of Saginaw

Most Rev. David J. Walkowiak
Bishop of Grand Rapids

Most Rev. Jeffrey J. Walsh
Bishop of Gaylord

Most Rev. Gerard W. Battersby
Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit

Most Rev. Arturo Cepeda
Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit

Most Rev. Robert J. Fisher
Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit

Most Rev. Donald F. Hanchon
Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit


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