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Roe v. Wade overturned; Archbishop Aquila and USCCB rejoice on ‘historic’ day

On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case that overturned Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood and thus eliminated a federal right to abortion that has claimed the lives of millions of preborn children for nearly 50 years.

“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” the Supreme Court decision stated.

Amid an outpouring of rejoicing, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called it a “historic day” in a statement written by Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the USCCB and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities. Read the full USCCB statement here.

“This is a historic day in the life of our country, one that stirs our thoughts, emotions and prayers,” they wrote. “For nearly 50 years, America has enforced an unjust law that has permitted some to decide whether others can live or die; this policy has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of preborn children, generations that were denied the right to even be born.

“America was founded on the truth that all men and women are created equal, with God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This truth was grievously denied by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized and normalized the taking of innocent human life. We thank God today that the Court has now overturned this decision. We pray that our elected officials will now enact laws and policies that promote and protect the most vulnerable among us.”

This ruling marked a momentous victory in a long fight by pro-life advocates to ensure that children in the womb are afforded the same basic protections as any other citizen. Abortion laws will now be decided at the state level.

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila shared the USCCB’s rejoicing in the landmark decision in a statement of his own (full statement here). He expressed his joy at the long-overdue ruling but also reminded the faithful of the Archdiocese of Denver that Colorado has become an “abortion destination” with the recently-passed Reproductive Health Equity Act, and that a pro-life witness is perhaps more important now than ever before.

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“Today we celebrate and praise God for this monumental decision to finally overturn Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood! This is a remarkable moment, and I want to personally thank everyone who has fervently prayed and worked that we might see this day. Our prayers have truly been answered!

“With that said, we acknowledge that the work continues, especially here in Colorado.

“While precious lives will no doubt be saved because of this decision, in states like ours, the abortion industry and many lawmakers are increasing their efforts to promote Colorado as an ‘abortion destination.’

“Therefore, we must continue to lovingly speak the truth about the God-given dignity of every unique human life from conception until natural death, and we must increase our support of our archdiocesan and parish ministries that offer authentically compassionate care for women, their babies, and their families.

“We must ensure our Catholic parishes are places of welcome for women facing challenging pregnancies or who find it difficult to care for their children after birth, so that any mother needing assistance will receive life-affirming support and be connected to appropriate programs and resources where she can get help.

“And we must always show Christ’s mercy to anyone who has received or participated in an abortion, and continue to pray that those who support and promote abortion have a profound encounter with Christ’s love and a total conversion, so that abortion is truly unthinkable.

“The work ahead of us here in Colorado will continue to be challenging, but we are reminded today that ‘nothing will be impossible for God.’ (Luke 1:37)”

In anticipation of this ruling, the Archdiocese of Denver recently prepared an FAQ on what this would mean in Colorado and has highlighted some key principles for promoting a culture of life in our archdiocese. Click here to read.

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